Bang! It was a shot heard around the world. The Battle of Adwa was a seminal moment for all people who have tasted the bitter pill of oppression and a warning for their oppressors. For the first time in modern history, an “African” nation refused to be defeated by a European imperial power. Instead of giving their hand to invaders, Ethiopians routed them in ways that reverberated globally. On March 1st, 1896, Ethiopian jegnoch (warriors) felled Goliath and defiantly stood up to aspiring colonizers. Italians entered Ethiopia boasting veni, vidi only to exit before they could say vici by a united Ethiopian military who put aside their differences and said embi (no) to subjugation.
Though Ethiopians were proud of their victory at the Battle of Adwa, the people who were impacted even more were the sons and daughters of former capital prisoners who were snatched away from their homes and turned into property by human traders. As a first generation immigrant from Ethiopia, I often note that I will never understand the full scope of anguish borne by “African-Americans” and the descendants of America and Europe’s holocaust survivors. Generations of systemic racism, outright terrorism and social exclusion has left a deep imprint and an enduring pain in the hearts and psyches of countless millions who trace their ancestry to the continent that was once called Ethiopia before a concerted campaign of horror was purveyed upon the continent that conceived humanity.
Less than a decade after Abraham Lincoln supposedly “freed the slaves” by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, life for “black” people throughout America and the Caribbean returned back to status repression. The little freedoms former slaves were given were quickly snatched away as penal codes and insidious sharecropping agreements indentured freedmen and women back into a life of force bondage. The glint of optimism that arrived after the Civil War ended quickly faded as the shadows of oppression cocooned “Africa’s” stolen children into the abyss of bleakness.
Where hope faded, the audacity of Ethiopians at the Battle of Adwa buoyed the spirits of “black” people throughout America, the Caribbean and beyond. Within short order, Ethiopia became a beacon that shone a light of defiance for all people who chaffed underneath the boot of colonial tyrants. Marcus Garvey, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston and countless intellectuals were heavily influenced by the awe inspiring feat of Ethiopians. In a lot of ways, the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights Era would not have been possible if not for the valor of our forefathers at Adwa.
The significance of Ethiopia to the “African” diaspora became evident when Italians decided to take a second bite of the apple in 1936. Desperately driven to avenge Italy’s embarrassing defeat less than two generations earlier, Mussolini invaded my homeland determined to make Ethiopians submit to his will. Once again, Ethiopians rose to the challenge as they met uninvited viruses at the very battlefield their parents and grandparents crushed would-be colonizers. This time around, the weapons and technology gap was too wide; Ethiopians could not turn back the Italians as mustard gas and indiscriminate warfare unleashed a chemical holocaust upon my grandparent’s generation.
Italians entered Addis Abeba like conquering heroes on May 5th 1936 only to feel the heat of Ethiopian abagnoch (rebels) for the next five years. Emperor Haile Selassie went before the League of Nations to plead for assistance; he did not want Europeans to send in their children to fight Mussolini nor did he seek charity from Western Powers. Rather, Haile Selassie requested only weapons to be sent so that Ethiopians could have a fighting chance against a better armed Italian military. To his dismay, Western Powers turned their backs on a fellow League of Nation’s member, a deed that Haile Selassie warned would end with Europe on fire.
“The appeals of my delegates addressed to the League of Nations had remained without any answer; my delegates had not been witnesses. That is why I decided to come myself to bear witness against the crime perpetrated against my people and give Europe a warning of the doom that awaits it, if it should bow before the accomplished fact.” ~ Emperor Haile Selassie I
Where the League of Nations ignored the suffering of Ethiopians, the children of “Africa’s” stolen treasures rallied to her side. In cities and towns throughout America and the Caribbean, men and women enlisted to defend Ethiopia and gave the little money they had to assist Ethiopia’s war efforts. Though they were feeling the burden of Jim Crow, segregation and economic injustice, “African-Americans” and “African” descendants throughout Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and beyond valiantly fought to keep Ethiopia free of colonization.
The last territory that was occupied by Italians before the second Italian-Ethiopian War came to a conclusion was a town called Shashemene. Five years after Italians entered Addis Abeba, they were forced to retreat from Harar, Somalia and Shoa into Shashemene. After two days of heavy shelling, a combined force of Ethiopian arbagnoch and British regulars led a thrust into the Italian column and decimated the occupying forces. Bent but not broken, Ethiopians showed the world that a united people cannot be conquered,;the souls of Ethiopian jegnoch once again gave “black” people around the world hope that today’s suppression can one day lead to tomorrow’s restoration.
Grateful for the way “African-Americans” came to the defense of Ethiopia and mindful of the relationship that Melaku Bayen established with “black” folks in America and the Caribbean, Haile Selassie donated 500 acres of his private land to all “black” people who were scattered throughout the world. In 1965, the first settlers from Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean arrived in Shashemene under the auspices of Ethiopian World Federation. For those who resettled in Shashemene, Ethiopia became their Tsion. A biblical land gave the sons of and daughters of capital prisoners a New Jerusalem and restored their connection to the Ethiopian continent.
The Solomonic crown is special to untold many in Ethiopia and throughout the world for this reason; not only did Haile Selassie give the “African” diaspora in the west a new home, the Ethiopian monarchy is the institution that kept our nation free from conquest for thousands of years. If not for the vision and valor of Menelik II and Taitu, Adwa would not have been possible. If not for the advocacy of Haile Selassie during World War II, Ethiopians would not have been able to resist the Italians and the legions of supporters from America and the Caribbean who defended Ethiopia would have never materialized. Moreover, the Ethiopian crown is part and parcel of the Old and New Testament; the Solomonic bloodline coursed the veins of Ethiopian monarchs like Yekuno Amlak, Na’od, my forefather Atse Tewodros II, Atse Yohannes IV and Haile Selassie I. Those who understand Matthew 1:1-17 know the significance of the Solomonic bloodline with respect to my Lord and Savior and the true King of Kings Eyesus Christos. This is the story they won’t tell you.
There is a reason why Ethiopia is suffering and why her children are feeling the brunt of marginalization in their own country at this precise moment. After refusing to be defeated by fascists during the 1890’s and the 1930’s, European powers realized that they only way to subdue Ethiopians was by eliminating the Ethiopian crown and subsequently weakening us from within by inducing tribalism. In September of 1974, they accomplished their first mission; Haile Selassie was deposed by Mengistu Hailemariam and shortly killed by his jailers. Within short order, another genocide was committed against Ethiopians as western powers yet again decided to stand by and do nothing.
Seventeen years of toxic Marxism that dispossessed Ethiopians of land and property rights in time gave way to twenty-seven years of tribal politics that has turned Ethiopia into a beggar nation and embroiled us in sectarian strife . A land that has enough natural and intellectual resources to feed the entire continent has instead been reduced into a client state of globalists who proliferate human suffering in order to multiply their profits. Forty-four years after Haile Selassie was overthrown and murdered, Ethiopia stands at the brink of a civil war and economic ruin as tribal politicians threaten to turn my birth land into Yugoslavia if we are lucky and into the Rwanda circa 1994 if things really take a turn for the worst.
Facing the prospect of internal collapse and horrific bloodshed, I turn to Ethiopians everywhere and supporter of Ethiopia all around the world to yet again rally to the side of my homeland. We have tried everything else only to be met with appalling results; we went from the frying pan of communist dictatorship into the fire of globalist capitalism that has turned Ethiopia into an island of despair for the vast majority while a fraction of society live like sultans. The only viable option we have left is to return to the system of governance that kept Ethiopia free from colonization for more than 3,000 years. It is time to restore the Solomonic Monarchy and give Ethiopians leadership who erves the people instead of politicians who only serve their egos.
Accomplishing this feat will require a herculean effort, we will do our part as we work tirelessly to restore the world’s oldest monarchy. However, if we are to succeed, we need to awaken the spirits of millions of Ethiopians back home and galvanize an organic and ground-up movement that is comprised of a broad dissection of constituencies irrespective of nationality, ideology or belief system. We initiated the Gobez Aleka Project for this exact reason, we ask you to be a part of our noble endeavor. Ethiopia is not just for Ethiopians, Ethiopia is an araya (example) of freedom, love and faith to the world. I ask you to join us in our effort to restore the Ethiopian monarchy and in the process let us reclaim our history and our God given identities.
Ethiopians are proud to say that we were never colonized for obvious reasons, our forefathers showed the world that a united people can overcome any obstacle and remain free in the face of better armed foes. However, in this paradigm of global colonization that has been initiated by corporate despots, the truth is that humanity has been turned into chattel by a society that thrives through secrecy and avarice. The only way we can overcome this beast of globalism that is bleeding mankind and suffocating our planet is if we do as my forefathers did at Adwa and unite irrespective of our differences.
We are working assiduously to restore the Ethiopian monarchy for this reason, the same way the Solomonic order crushed Italian colonizers, now is the time for a new Solomonic monarch to lead us away from globalization and towards an era of cooperation and community building. I am asking you to put labels, ideology and complexion aside and unite around the concept of humanity. We can have a modicum of peace and justice on earth if we choose fiker (love) and andinet (oneness) above aner and self-interests. I ask you to rally to the side of Ethiopia and help us restore the Ethiopian monarchy.
Throughout history, the bible has been co-opted to advance the political agendas of nefarious actors. One particular passage stands out, that of God’s chosen people. Some have appropriated this parable to elevate themselves above others. God’s chosen people has nothing to do with superiority for God’s children are all equal, a chosen people is referring to a people who are chosen to suffer in order to show the world the redemptive power of love. The children of the Ethiopian continent have been chosen to endure torment and have been scattered through the four corners of the world.
Redemption awaits and Tsion will be our new homes the minute we disavow tribalism, honor our ancestors, stop bowing before the idols of materialism and ideologies and return back to our source. Renewal is not possible through politics for politicians exist to deceive us; truth shall never come from them. Psalm 68:31 notes “princes shall emerge from Kemet, Ethiopia shall quickly turn her hand back to God”.
No more fighting over God for the three Abrahamic faiths pray to the same God regardless of the name we give HIM. We are siblings fighting over our first names instead of honoring our last name that binds us as one. Let us be moved by the spirit God that resides in our hearts and lead with love instead of being led by antipathy and indifference. It is time for us to turn back to God and believe in love so that centuries of exodus can come to an end. May Egziabher bless and keep Ethiopia, America, and the world.
“I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.” ~ Amos 9:14
Lij Teodrose Fikremariam is the Chair of Ethiopians for Constitutional Monarchy. He is the direct descendant of Atse Tewodros II, the once Emperor of Ethiopia who united a fractured nation during Zemene Mesafint (age of princes) and imbued Ethiopia with a sense of togetherness that enabled them to eventually defeat Italy at the battle of Adwa. Lij Teodrose was born in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia but grew up in America. He has a Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University and an Masters of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. Lij Teodrose believes in one Ethiopia and that a nation can only be judged by the wellness of the least among us.