Whether or not one agrees with American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) philosophy or methods, the country can no longer deny the impact of its presence. The group has shown it is more than just its catchy Twitter #ADOS hashtag with the success of its first conference.
More than 2,000 people from around the country converged on Louisville, KY to attend the inaugural ADOS Conference, reported WDRB. It took place Oct. 4-5 at Saint Stephen Baptist Church and Simmons College of Kentucky.
Founded by political analyst Yvette Carnell and attorney Antonio Moore, ADOS bills itself as a true reparations movement. On its website, the group has set forth a Black Agenda called a New Deal for Black America.
In additions to monetary reparations for slavery, their priorities include: streamlining affirmative action, reinstituting protections of The Voting Rights Act, prison reform, increased support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), student loan forgiveness, adding Black media to the government’s advertising budget, etc.
“We built the country as slaves – or our ancestors did – and we’ve been suffering from that accrued disadvantage that stems from there,” Carnell said. “We’ve always talked about 40 acres and a mule. We’ve always had the conversation, but we’ve never really anchored ourselves in terms of consistent advocacy.”
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Carnell (@BreakingBrown on Twitter) and Moore (@tonetalks on Twitter) both have media platforms and backgrounds, which they use to tout ADOS’ message. Based on the conference attendance, that message is being received.
Noted scholar and Harvard professor Cornell West and presidential candidate Marianne Williamson were among the speakers at the conference. Surprisingly, well known wealth expert and outspoken ADOS champion Dr. William “Sandy” Darity was not present.
“I think what the public needs to know is ADOS is a movement led by folk who love Black people, and especially Black poor and working people, who’s suffering has been rendered invisible, whose suffering has been normalized.” West said, according to WDRB. “We’re talking about something moral. It’s the integrity of the struggle, not only whether you can achieve it at this moment, maybe, for your grandchildren and great-grandchild.”
Since their main goal is reparations, it is fitting ADOS had their first conference this year as 2019 marks 400 years since the first African slaves who survived the Middle Passage touched American soil.
It’s obvious ADOS no longer “just tweets.”