Cornel West’s Unfortunate Support of ADOS

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I have argued in a number of articles that the ADOS movement has been a very divisive movement. Not only has it created more divisions among African Americans and Africans, but even among African Americans the movement has been very divisive. This is why ADOS has been denounced by N’COBRA, the Nation of Islam, Molefi Asante, and others. Cornel West is one of the few public voices in Black America who has supported ADOS.

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West’s endorsement of ADOS is unfortunate, but not surprising. I explained in a prior article that West has always been uncomfortable with Pan-Africanism. The fact that West is out-of-touch with the Pan-African tradition makes his attempts to legitimize ADOS unfortunate because as an elder scholar West is actually in a position to correct some of the confusion of the ADOS movement, but he only adds to the confusion.

At around 7:30 in the video above, West mentions the ADOS co-founders (Yvette and Antonio Moore) and William Darity along with Queen Mother Moore. The implication seems to be that ADOS is a continuation of Queen Mother Moore’s legacy, but the problem is that other than supporting reparations, Queen Mother Moore and Yvette Carnell share little in common politically. Queen Mother Moore was a committed Pan-Africanist who fought for the liberation of Africa.

Queen Mother Moore was one of those people whom Yvette Carnell dismissed as being a “moron” and being “idiotic” for fighting for reparations through the prism of global Black liberation. Cornel West is either deliberately ignoring this or he is simply ignorant about the differences between the two women. Either way, West’s attempt to invoke Queen Mother Moore to legitimize ADOS is very poor scholarship on the part of an elder scholar who should know better.

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Queen Mother Moore was a supporter of N’COBRA. Yvette’s dismissive view of N’COBRA’s work is well-known, although I wonder if West is aware of this.

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What is also unfortunate is that Cornel West is also in a position to counter the false claims that certain individuals in the ADOS have been making regarding Pan-Africanism. I published an article in which I invited Yvette, Moore, and others in the ADOS movement to participate in the global African Liberation Day events that were being mobilized by Africans Risings to dispel this false notion that there are no Pan-African movements in Africa. Moore in particular has been pushing this strange idea that no one in African identifies as being an African.

Cornel West is in a position to speak to this because last year he traveled to Senegal where he met Coumba Toure, who is one of the coordinators for Africans Rising. West is very well-aware of the Pan-African movement that exists in Africa, but rather than working to strengthen those bonds, West instead lends his support to a movement led by people who are working to create confusion and misunderstanding among our people.

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Cornel West and Coumba Toure

I am not sure how much Cornel West knows about the ADOS movement, but as I noted before, as an elder scholar West should know better and is in a position to correct some of this confusion, but has decided instead to contribute to the confusion by presenting ADOS as if it is a continuation of the revolutionary Pan-African work that Queen Mother Moore was engaged in.


Dwayne is the author of several books on the history and experiences of African people, both on the continent and in the diaspora. His books are available through Amazon. You can also follow Dwayne on Facebook and Twitter.

Dwayne Wong (Omowale) is a Guyanese born Pan-Africanist, author, and law student.

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