Like many human traits, a person's colour is influenced by about 12
different genes, which together control the amount of pigment - or melanin
- produced in the skin.
It is in principle at least possible that both parents carried light skin gene
variants, inherited from unknown white ancestors on either side, which in
their cases were masked by dark skin gene variants.
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“Start Quote
We are all of us genetic mixtures to some extent and occasionally you'll
have a convergence of the pale versions of these genes in African
Americans and African Carribbeans who have a mixed black and white
ancestry”
End Quote Professor Bryan Sykes University of Oxford

In this way, white parents can also produce a black child, as in the recently
filmed biopic of Sandra Laing, the black baby born to Afrikaner parents at
the height of apartheid in the mid-1950s.
In Europeans, it is possible - if highly unusual - that African DNA from
those who were brought to the continent as Roman slaves joins in two fair
parents to produce a dark-skinned child.
Under this theory, when Nmachi was conceived, she inherited both light
skin genes which together give her this very fair appearance.
"We are all of us genetic mixtures to some extent and occasionally you'll
have a convergence of the pale versions of these genes in African
Americans and African Carribbeans who have a mixed black and white
ancestry," says Bryan Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics at the
University of Oxford.
"But that doesn't seem to be the case here. The parents are Nigerians with
little known white ancestry at all."
What is more likely, he says, is a genetic mutation within the little girl
herself which she will then pass on to her children if she has any in the
future.
Sunburn

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