Are Sicilians Black?


Quick Answer

To describe Sicilians in general as "black" would be inaccurate. There is no genetic or historical evidence to suggest that most Sicilians have a large amount of sub-Saharan African ancestry, and it is not unusual for Sicilians to have fairly light hair and skin color.

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Full Answer

The best evidence for the ethnic Sicilian population having even 10 percent sub-Saharan African descent may be the presence of sickle cell disease in some ethnic Sicilians. The disease, and the gene that may not cause the disease in a carrier but can cause it in a child who inherits copies from both parents, is so rare among people without known sub-Saharan African ancestry that it likely indicates previously unknown ancestry from the region in an individual carrier. Research does support a sub-Saharan genetic contribution in Sicilian sickle cell carriers.

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