Ancient African Thought on Politics: A Blueprint for a Better Africa - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1847 Words
Date:  2023-08-10


When we speak about African philosophy, we are mainly targeting African thought on various aspects of life emanating from Africans and their descendants. African thoughts on politics have dates back to Antiquity, i.e., during classical civilization, the ancient past. Martin (2012) explains that African philosophy on politics is like a blueprint with original ideas and values meant to mold a better Africa. Their political systems are well informed dating to the ancient past. He also describes African political thoughts as ideologies and theories from African politicians and scholars. A link between political philosophy and action since the idea is the foundation for political action. The African thoughts give solutions that are practical in the context of cultural, economic, political, and social problems that Africans face.

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Chimakonam (n.d) explains that African philosophy was a result of colonialism, racialism, and slavery. The ugliness of the three concepts to the rest of the world created a particular perception about Africa, and hence Africans had to defend their originality. Colonial frustrations gave birth to African thought. The failures were based on the world’s opinion that African culture was naïve, and the continent was docile intellectually and useless in rationality. African scholars reacted to this perception that had been created by European scholars, and therefore a systematic philosophy for Africans was born. African thought sought to identify African’s contributions to civilization and their place in history. It was an act of war aimed to protect African’s heritage, its originality, and to inform the world Africans existed and had their rightful place in this world. The world had been brainwashed, and the African scholars meant to enlighten the world with the truth.

Okpewho (1981) describes cultural history as one that is as a result of a foundation quest to whether societies in the wake of political uncertainty. Okpewho (1981) explains that except for the Negro race, no other race felt the dire need to find an earthing of history because they never had their determinedly questioned as much as the Negroes. Africa was subject to the most brutal economic and human ravages that occasionally drew the attention of sympathizers. Still, the African intellectuals used an established congress later in to achieve a rooting. Diop believed that the struggle for political independence by Africans could not be successful unless there were acknowledgement of African’s contributions to civilization. The role of culture by Africa dates back to ancient Egypt, which has been excluded from history. In William (2008), Dr.Wright deems the incorporation of Diop’s two cradle theory in developing the African-American social approach which is vital for the development of Africa and its survival. A Black social theory would mean a reintegration of African culture worldwide. From Dr.Wrights point of view, Diop can be seen as a significant contributor to African philosophy studies through his cradle theory. We further recognize Diop’s contribution to African thought explained by Ujomu (2001), where the study of ancient Egyptian culture played a role in developing African philosophy. Diop’s Cultural Unity of Black Africa brings out the components of Egyptian culture that were essential in world civilization. Diop made efforts to restore classical Egypt to its proper place in world history. He believed that facts about ancient Egypt suppressed point out to humanity originating from Africa, and there is a probability that black people were the first humans.

Diop’s perspectives about Africa being the origin of humankind serves as a theoretical basis for the study of African Political Philosophy in Antiquity. Considering that African political thought stemmed from the urge for Africans to change how the world perceived it, bringing to light the hidden facts of ancient Egypt, categorizing civilizations and cultures into two cradles, Diop unravels the backbone of ideologies and cultures uniting Africans all over the world. Diop (1989) explains the concept of Matriarchy among African communities like Ghana, Egypt, and Ethiopia. He states that women ruled Africans in the classical and pre-classical era, and children took their maternal uncles’ names and classify this as the southern cradle. The northern cradle confined to Rome and Greece used a patriarchal system where the make gender was dominant. In this light, it can be said that Diop formed a basis for African political thought. Issues like the fight for women’s rights, especially among African-Americans in recent centuries, is a reflection of African social-political philosophy borrowed from the Matriachical practices of ancient Africa. The two cradle theory paints a picture of African heritage as that which respected and valued women not only as mothers but as warriors and leaders. Diop (1989) explains the cultural pasts of people and countries can influence views, whether optimistic or pessimistic, adopted into providing a sense of high human mind activities. African political philosophy in Antiquity borrows ideologies from African’s cultural past.

Common Originality

Diop’s two cradle theory presumes that Europeans are Africans transformed by harsh and cold, whether of ancient Europe, considering the probability that black people were the first humans on earth. Explained by Allen (2008), Diop’s two cradle theory presumes that there is only one origin for humanity, and that is the Black race confined in Africa, which developed with time responding to life and environmental needs. With such a presumption, Diop negates the world perception created in the colonial era that Africa is inferior in all aspects. Diop, through this theory, also forms the basis of African political thought that came to be as a result of reclaiming Africa’s heritage trampled upon by the colonialists. Above all, Diop’s two cradle theory inculcates the sense of a common origin for Africans and all their descendant wherever they may be.

Diop (1974) explains that human history shall remain confused unless people distinguish between two cradles designed by nature in culture, norms, and values. Drawing from Diop’s two cradle theory, Okafor (1997) explains that African civilization does not deny the diversity of its societies but acknowledges their common cultures and historical experiences, which are the foundation of the African identity differentiating them from others. Asante (1992) reviews Diop’s cultural unity of Black Africa, explaining that Africa is united its cultural diversity because all cultures stem from the same matriarchal ideology. This philosophy shows that Africa has a common origin, and it is through this commonality that it establishes African continuity even in the 21st century.

African Continuity

The presumption that all black people are a nation despite their location in the world, hence their unity, is undeniable is according to Kasanda (n.d), one of Blyden’s main ideologies. Kasanda (n.d) explains Blyden’s view of race, that is, a unit with a particular territory and mission, and as an African, he takes pride in being part of the Black nation, urging black men to do the same. The development of Blacks and continuity of the African heritage depends on how proud the Blacks are of their cultural history and origin. Kasanda (n.d) believes that African political philosophy is a basis of African’s daily lives aiming at the welfare of the African population in the social and political aspects. Kasanda (n.d) explains that the struggle for independence reflects the urge for solidarity and identification of Africans in the revival and construction of modern African nations. The fight against the colonialists is the basis for African thought ideas on culture rehabilitation, socialism, and humanism. The stated ideologies stem from Diop’s contributions to the origin, commonality, and continuity of African culture explained in his two cradle theory. Kasanda (n.d) believes that the future of Africans depends on their attitudes towards the philosophy of a single Black nation. Diop believes in the African cultures stemming from one origin. Kasanda(n.d) challenges the thinkers of the African community to achieve equilibrium between their thoughts and available constraints like human rights. Through analyzing Kasanda’s views, it is safe to say that for the smooth continuity of the African nation, African philosophers have to harden their resolve. It is upon the African thinkers to develop foundations of how the African today, can maintain their culture and identity amidst the many challenges available like human rights. Diop’s two cradle ideology has paved the way for African philosophers to achieve the mission in their presence. Following Diop’s ideas, it is highly likely that Africans will stop indulging the world in terming them inferior for knowledge of their ancestry, origin, and culture they will be proud, and it is through pride that the Black nation will thrive.

Falola and Mbah (2014) reveal that although the struggle for independence among the African nations was a success, the enthusiasm died soon after the victory. Africans heads of states realized that the Europeans had fixed Africans for imminent disaster. Fifty years of independence have passed, and Africans are yet to form significant democratic governments. States are putting efforts towards eradicating poverty and corruption. There is less room for good economies and stable social structures. African nations now are faced with the challenges of education and healthcare promotions. The colonial rule left Africans marred with divided ethnicities. Africans cannot come together for one meaningful course because the Europeans played the game of divide and conquer as they scrambled for African. The challenges are many and difficult to handle because of the discord present among Africans. The continuity of the Black nation, which includes Africans and their descendants dating back to the ancient past and including today’s African Americans, depends on whether African philosophers can maneuver African’s towards unity.

Mazama (2007) describes the reason why even with Africa being independent, the continuity of its heritage is at a standstill. Among the African philosophers of this modern era, exists some whose only aim is to fulfill their interests. The Western and European nations are the financiers of such philosophers, and to gain their favor, they let go of the challenge of continuing the African heritage through solidarity. In this plight, it will be difficult for the Black nation to withhold the pressure. On the other hand, Mazama (2007) reveals that women of the 21st century are going back in time, borrowing from Diop’s Matriarchy, where women took control of issues. African mothers worldwide teach their children that Africans are not inferior. Despite working hard, mothers still need assistance. Leaders and philosophers are the calvary; hence they should see beyond their westernized minds.

The change and development of the ordinary African and Black people depend on the attitudes of their leaders and thinkers.African political philosophy has a good foundation in Antiquity from scholars such as Diop and his two cradle thesis. A challenge exists in ensuring African continuity since the modern African philosophers and leaders have been swayed by the West. One way to ensure continuity is through sound eduction; however, African political-philosophical studies tend to avoid and include the common origin existing in Antiquity for fear of the philosophers losi...

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Ancient African Thought on Politics: A Blueprint for a Better Africa - Essay Sample. (2023, Aug 10). Retrieved from

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