Old Church of Saint Mary of Zion in Aksum, Ethiopia, which was standing when Zera Yakob was writing
In the 1600s and 1700s, many new ideas came to Europe from Africa. The philosophy of Descartes, Rousseau, Locke, Hume, and Kant probably owed a lot to earlier African philosophers whose work is hardly known today. Zera Yakob, an Ethiopian Christian who wrote in the 1630s to 1660s, used logic and reason to argue for the equality of men and women, and against slavery.
Anton Amo, from Ghana
Anton Amo, from Ghana, taught at German universities in the mid-1700s. He discussed world religions and the rights of Black Europeans, but also how to use reason to distinguish the mind from the body, a big issue of his time: how can we know what is real, when we only know things through our senses?