African Immigrants Are Taking Up Opportunities Meant for American Descendants of Slaves – ADOS


This video documentary was created to spotlight the evolution of a divergence of interest between the US African Diaspora population who immigrated voluntarily and American descendants of slaves (African slaves). Though many are not conscious of this emergent schism within the US African American community, it can jeopardize the coherence that exists in this vibrant segment of mainstream America. But some are taking stock and may have found enough issues of concern to inspire the setting up of the American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS). The ABC correspondent reports an encounter with the leader of ADOS in this revelatory and provocative interview.

The voluntary emigration of Africans to the United States was a mere trickle until the 1970s. Africans were used to emigrating to the European nations that had colonized their respective countries. With the arrival of self-rule in many sub-Saharan African countries, Africans expanded the scope of their search for greener pastures to the United States. The impacts of President Kennedy’s Youth Corps program and escalating violence in many parts of the continent inspired many young Africans to seek their future in America. Because of the Vietnam War and the need for additional hands to work the economy, the US immigration requirements were not as stringent as they are today. From a mere trickle at the beginning, immigration of Africans to the United States now occurs in droves. 

For a combination of reasons, young Africans who initially migrated to the US to further their education fail to return to their home countries after graduation and training. Even some who voluntarily repatriate themselves back to Africa tend to make a U-turn often because of the living conditions and insecurity that bedevil many post-colonial African countries. The first wave of African youths that emigrated to the US in the 1960s and 70s are now grandparents. The African US Diaspora population has grown immensely. Numerically, the overwhelming majority of African immigrant US population are Nigerians, as shown in this video.

ADOS did not just emerge for nothing; it emerged as a counterpoise to a new community in Black America that is seen to be in competition with American descendants of slaves. The ADOS argues that even if all Black Americans share common genetic traits and, therefore, look the same, there are still critical sociocultural differences that tend to sow divisiveness and unhealthy rivalry among them. The ABC reporter was able to tease out from the ADOS leader the rationale that inspires and drives this new organization.

The nomination of Cynthia Arrivo, a Nigerian-British, for an Oscar Award for her lead role in the movie “Harriet” got many people’s attention. For what Harriet Tubman had done to advance the freeing of American slaves fleeing the South, ADOS agonists are obviously upset that a British citizen was the one chosen by Hollywood to play the leading role in a movie to commemorate this historical figure. It was also cited that the film on Dr. M. L. King, Jr and his wife, Coretta King, had Nigerian British actors. Instances like these, help ADOS immensely in marketing its vision and mission to American descendants of slaves who still constitute the overwhelming majority in the African American community.

ADOS has brought a simmering potential conflict within the African American community into the mainstream. After watching this video, it is easy to see that something major could be welling up which, if not properly managed as early as possible, can bring an ill wind that shall blow good to no one. This dialogue that constructively engages the ideological leaders of ADOS is the right step in the right direction.

Perhaps, the most significant danger is that the age-old oppressors of the African can, if allowed, exploit the underbelly of the African American community by stoking and manipulating divisiveness and acrimony among a once united people. Those who oppose the concept of payment of Reparations for centuries of enslavement of Africans in the Americas can mischievously manipulate this matter, if allowed, to fester uncontrolled.