African Philosophy & The Enlightenment

As the onion of world history is peeled back, we are disabused of the notion of European intellectual supremacy. Through the sustained efforts of official lies, the facade of legitimacy enforced by the credibility of Ivy League Universities, mankind has been indoctrinated in the insidious myth of European monopoly of philosophy.

For centuries philosophy has conjured up images of bearded white men sporting togas in introspective poses pondering the eternal questions of human existence. It has been synonymous with Plato, Aristotle, Socrates or Thales. In the modern era of western civilization, The Enlightenment Philosophers: Kant, Locke, Hobbes, & Descarte wrote treatises on individual freedoms and social order that form the basis of an intangible power known as the State.

The Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, was a philosophical movement that took place primarily in Europe and, later, in North America, during the late 17thand early 18thcentury. But, there is an earlier, darker antecedent.

The Enlightenment is known as the epicenter of philosophical thought on man’s relationship with the natural world. But in the land where time began, history has uncovered one of the world’s most profound intellects in the caves of Ethiopia.

Zera Yacob was an Ethiopian Philosopher born in the Kingdom of Aksum. Like Socrates, he was persecuted for questioning the social order of his society. He was driven into exile in a cave in Ethiopia where he wrote his pivotal and autobiographical work known as the Hatuta. Written in 1667, the ideas and events in the Hatuta actually occurred around 1630. This means that the Hatuta proceeds the Enlightenment by at least 30 years.

Inspired by the Psalms of David, Yacob’s writings are inherently spiritual. But he is not without a critical inquiry of religion; especially European Christianity. In fact, Yacob is deeply suspicious of European Christianity. He states explicitly that Europeans are using the religion as a means of theft.

In other places, he exhibits an unshakable faith in the existence of God. He argues for the existence of heaven due to man’s insatiable desire for happiness. He stated that because man cannot find total happiness in this life, there must be a place where he realizes complete happiness outside of his mortality.

He further reasons that the after life is a necessity because people frequently fails to receive what they deserve in this life. He also believed that there must be a place for a moral accounting of deeds done in one’s life. Therefore, the afterlife must exist as a method of final judgment of the souls of men.

Yacob also grapples with the presence of evil in the sight of God. Yacob posits that evil and unearned suffering is redemptive. It is the means by which God develops man morally for his place in the universe. He notes that all religions contain miraculous stories that justify the dogmatism of it’s adherents, but one must not fail to examine these ideas with total rationality less one end up believing magic for the enrichment of others.

Yacob argues that man is made in the nature of God. Therefore, pleasurable things like sex, which are made by God must be good for man. As a result, he has a jaded view of celibacy. He is also a believer of intelligent design. For him, things are a little too perfect not to have an omnipotent author.

He is egalitarian to the core. He believes in the equality of men and women in marriage; and views slavery is an abominable evil.

According to Yacob:

“All men are equal in the presence of God; and all are intelligent, since they are his creatures; he did not assign one for life, or another for death, one for mercy, another for judgment. One reason teaches us that this sort of discrimination cannot exist in the sight of God, who is perfect in all his works.”

This is unlike Enlightenment Philosopher John Locke whose treatises justify slavery and white autocracy.

Above all, Yacob admonishes men to read, think and question. His writings are not written from the perspective of an aristocrat. They are bred in the mode of true introspection and examination. It is easy to conclude that this is yet another example of pseudo history; something cooked up to make a primitive, tribal culture civilized so that they feel better about themselves. But both Yacob and the Hatata are real.

So if you are a skeptic, then follow his admonitions and read and examine his wisdom and philosophy for yourself. This is the highest tribute that one can pay to his legacy as one of the greatest philosophers of all time.

TONY MACEO is a Senior Blogger at the Negromanosphere and the Chief Blogger at Power & Like and share the articles. Subscribe to the website. Support on Patreon @ Powerofstrategies or on Paypal @

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