Correcting More Misinformation from ADOS
The thing that Dynast doesn’t mention in his video is the political situation in the Gambia. The Gambia has been ruled by dictatorship from 1970 until 2016 when Yahya Jammeh was voted out of power. Jammeh refused to leave peacefully, however. Dynast argues that Roots put the Gambia “on the map” and brought tourism to the Gambia. That’s fine, but did Roots assist the Gambian people in their fight against dictatorship? The Gambia is still undergoing the process of political development in a post-dictatorship era, and there have already been signs that the current government may be drifting towards some of the old authoritarian practices. That’s why I am disappointed that Dynast kept focusing on what he thinks Roots has done for the Gambia, but says absolutely nothing in the video about the actual political realities of what is happening in the Gambia.
If you are looking to African governments for “tangibles” you will be as disappointed as most African citizens are. This is why my position is that Pan-Africanism has to be based on building grassroots ties between Africans in the diaspora and those on the continent. Walter Rodney explained that the African ruling class “reneged on the cardinal principle of Pan-Africanism: namely, the unity and indivisibility of the African continent.” African governments don’t even practice Pan-Africanism with their neighbors, which is why the government of Ghana cannot even be bothered to assist the suffering people in neighboring Togo. If African nations won’t support their neighbors, it is a mistake to believe that African governments will support us in the diaspora.
I would love for African governments to grant citizenship for anyone in the diaspora that wants it, but we are not at that stage of the Pan-African struggle. Right now African citizens are struggling for better governance. The struggle is one to liberate Africa from the present leadership that is running Africa. There are some in the Pan-African struggle who understand this and who are supporting those liberation struggles in Africa, but there are others who do not participate in this struggle. Those tend to be the people who criticize Pan-Africanism and this is where I take issue with what the ADOS movement is doing.
The leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara and others who supported Black Americans and others in the diaspora were removed. Malcolm X was very encouraged by the positive reception he received from the African leaders that he spoke with regarding the struggles of Black Americans. Many of those same leaders that were willing to support Malcolm’s desire to bring the struggle of Black Americans before the United Nations were removed by coup or faced attempted coups. So at this present stage in the Pan-African struggle, we simply cannot look for support from African governments.
I also want to add that contrary to what Dynast says at the 38:50 mark in his video, Marcus Garvey was not run out of Jamaica. This is a popular misconception that I noticed is being spread by the ADOS movement. The reason why Garvey ended up staying in Harlem was because the UNIA branch there was experiencing problems, so Garvey went to New York to assist them. Garvey himself explained that “it was not then my intention to remain in America, but to return to Jamaica.” He then goes on to explain that the Harlem branch “requested me to become President for a time of the New York organization so as to save them from the politicians.” He consented and that was why Garvey stayed in Harlem. Throughout Garvey’s lifetime, Jamaica was one the countries where the UNIA was the strongest. The UNIA was also very strong in Trinidad and Cuba had more UNIA branches than any other country, except for the United States. Among Garvey’s influences were Booker T. Washington (Black American) and Joseph Robert Love (Bahamian). I mention this for those who only mention Washington’s influence on Garvey, but ignore the Caribbean influences on Garvey. Love helped to organize the Pan-African Association in Jamaica. And Dynast, like many ADOS supporters, mentions Martin Delany, but makes no mention of Robert Campbell, Delany’s Jamaican colleague. So the Pan-African movement was strong in Jamaica even before Garvey started the UNIA. It wasn’t Black Americans alone who started Pan-Africanism, even though some in the ADOS movement seem to think so.
The people who support the ADOS movement seem to feel the need to criticize or diminish Pan-Africanism, even though they aren’t really actively involved in the Pan-African struggle. If you do not support Pan-Africanism you have that right, but don’t make false proclamations that Pan-Africanism is dead, as Yvette Carnell has done. Don’t spread misinformation about Pan-Africanism because you aren’t willing to support our struggle. And I know my ADOS critics will say that I’m only criticizing ADOS because I am a non-ADOS. These people want to turn this into a non-ADOS versus ADOS issue, but the issue is really ADOS versus those who are serious about Pan-African unity. So if I am out of place for criticizing the ADOS movement, then perhaps those who are skeptical of my position should listen to the Black Americans who have raised criticisms of ADOS.
And here is a video of Claud Anderson speaking of the importance of Black Americans building economic ties with African nations. I am not only one preaching this message of building strong international bonds between African people.
So my issue isn’t with Black Americans. My issue is with the division, confusion, and misinformation being promoted by the ADOS movement. The misinformation is the main reason why I have been writing these articles because so many people who support ADOS seem to be spreading misinformation about Pan-Africanism and the history of Pan-Africanism.
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.