Caribbean Journal of Philosophy, Vol 11, No 1 (2019)

Re-examining the Eurocentric Descriptions of Africa and the Imperative of Black Hypothesis

Kenneth Uyi Abudu


The description of Africa and Africans during the Enlightenment period by philosophers like David Hume, Immanuel Kant and G.W.F. Hegel suggests a kind of description which denotes Africans in a derogatory sense. For instance, Africans were described in a manner which suggests that they are irrational and sub-humans. Thus, these descriptions in recent times have birthed several movements, ranging from pan-Africanism and epistemological theories such as Afrocentrism, with the Black Hypothesis being one popular but recent response to the Eurocentric description of Africa. The thrust of this paper is to critically examine the Eurocentric description of Africa from the perspectives of Hume, Kant and Hegel, and to refute their claims using the Black Hypothesis as a paradigm. The paper asserts that the racial slurs against Africans by Enlightenment philosophers cannot be scientifically proven as there exist philosophical and anthropological discovered that have shown that Africa (Egypt) is the cradle of civilization. The concluding thesis of this paper is that the Black Hypothesis is another dimension to understanding how the Eurocentric description of Africa can be rejected.

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