Black August is Coming!
“A month of divine meaning, of repression and radical resistance, of injustice and divine justice; of repression and righteous rebellion; of individual and collective efforts to free the slaves and break the chains that bind us.”Political Prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal On August
Black August started in the prison camp of San Quentin in California. The Black inmates would wear black armbands to remember the heroic actions of the “Soledad Brothers”; Jonathan Jackson, his brother George Jackson and three other Black prisoners at the Marin County Courthouse in Marin County, CA as well as the San Quentin Six.
Jonathan Jackson entered the courthouse on August 7, 1971, freed James McClain, William Christmas, Khatari Gaulden, Ruchell Magee and took a white judge hostage to demand the release of his big brother George.
Jonathan was killed at the courthouse alongside William Christmas and James MeClain. The judge as well as several pigs were killed also.
George Jackson was later assassinated by the state while in San Quentin. Six African and indigenous men were put on trial for their participation in the following prison slave rebellion.
Known as the San Quentin Six, they were honored alongside the Jackson brothers and the freedom fighters of the August 7th courthouse rebellion during the earliest days of Black August observance.
Khatari Gaulden was assassinated in 1978 by the state while also imprisoned in San Quentin. This was the period in which Black August observances began spreading beyond the walls of California’s prison camps and into Black communities throughout the U.S.
A Revolutionary tradition
The month was observed with everything from the original traditions of intense political study, exercise and fasting to boycotting non-Black owned businesses and observing the overwhelming amount of revolutionary history that is in the month of August.
August is not only the month of the Soledad Brothers and the San Quentin Six.
The Haitian Revolution is thought to have officially began in August, 1791. Gabriel Prosser’s rebellion started August 30, 1800.
Nat Turner’s rebellion began August 21, 1831 after a rare solar eclipse. The Underground Railroad began August 2, 1851.
The Provisional Government of The Republic of New Afrika defended itself in an armed standoff with the FBI and Mississippi police August 8, 1971.
The Watts Rebellion took place in August, 1965. August is also the birth month of the great African leader and visionary Marcus Garvey, former political prisoner Dr. Mutulu Shakur as well as assassinated leader and Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton.
The importance of the month of August is almost uncanny and leaves one to wonder if this is more than a coincidence. Is it the heat of summer causing an agitation among African people, stirring a revolutionary response to our oppressors?
Is there something spiritual at work? Could genetic memory, mass consciousness or some psychic connection be a factor?
It is not completely clear to us why August is the month that these events happened but it is clear to us that we have a duty to uphold our resistance.
The month of August should especially remind us that there is no sacrifice too great for the liberation of African people. August is coming and we’re ready for that work!
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