BLACK AUGUST – Summer of Liberation Celebration and Remembrance
Black August – We Honor our Ancestors and Political Prisoners – Art Installation
The Black August Exhibit is an art installation which highlights the global interconnectedness of the liberation and struggle for human rights by Black/Aboriginal People world wide. The installation represents the following:
The multi-hued fist rising from the earth with broken chains – This piece illustrates how through active liberation our people have moved forward in life, and that this struggle has been going on for 500 years. It started where the fist is positioned….…in the oceans in which some of our ancestors gave the ultimate sacrifice to fight slavery. The fist is multi-hued to remind us our people come in a variety of shades and all were enslaved during the invasions, and betrayals. Colorism is beneath us, and those that fall for it divide us. We must resist colorism at all costs. Love your hue.
The Black mannequins represent our people on each continent, each presence represents aboriginal and diaspora cultures and people. We are unified in each of these areas around the concepts of liberation, freedom for political prisoners, and the economic empowerment of Africa. Each has the universal flag, also known as the Pan African flag, which represents unity for all. Pan African concepts at its core is the simple reality that all people of African heritage share a common past and will share a common future together.
We also feature in the display a picture of famous political prisoners and the catalyst for the creation of the Black August month of reflection and honoring our past.
Additionally, we celebrate the amazing country of Haiti, which fought for liberation and destroyed their oppressors. They then proceeded to create their own country. Haiti has always been a country looked at for inspiration as they were the first to be free during the great slave invasions and middle passage era. We salute the great leader, Toussaint Louverture.
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BLACK AUGUST – Summer of Liberation Celebration and Remembrance
Black August – We Honor our Ancestors and Political Prisoners
Black August honors our ancestors who continually fought for liberation and freedom & Black August is honored every year to commemorate the fallen freedom fighters of the Black Liberation Movement, to call for the release of political prisoners in the United States, to condemn the oppressive conditions of U.S. prisons, and to emphasize the continued importance of the Black Liberation struggle.
Observers of Black August commit to higher levels of discipline throughout the month. This can include fasting from food and drink, frequent physical exercise and political study, and engagement in political struggle. In short, the principles of Black August are: “study, fast, train, fight.”
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The Images below from L to R. BLACK AUGUST are highlighting the different heroes of the era. Haitian Revolution Post Card, card shows how local inhabitants fought back against slavery, defeated and hung their oppressors. See more about Haitian Revolution and Black August below.
HISTORY BEHIND BLACK AUGUST
Unlike the so-called Black History Month, a month that celebrates commercialism and a sanitized version of the history of decedents of the Afrikan holocaust, the month of Black August acknowledges the fallen comrades that die, sacrifice and struggle for the self-determination and liberation of the Blacks in America and aborad in the Diaspora, (which includes the EU, South America, the caribe, north america, Australia, etc)
A great resource we recommend all readers to review is the following site as well as all sites listed at the end of this article.
The above article has a great resource for anyone dealing with incarceration or legal issues. The CCR – Center for Constitutional Rights provided the following:
During Black August, the CCR launched the Sixth Edition of our Jailhouse Lawyer’s Handbook, a free resource designed to help incarcerated people assert their constitutional rights and hold prison officials accountable. The new edition was released on August 16th, 2021 and we hope you will share this tool widely with your friends, comrades, and loved ones.
Handbook in PDF form:
MEANING OF THE BLACK AUGUST
Black August originated in the California penal system to honor fallen Freedom Fighters, Jonathan Jackson, George Jackson, William Christmas, James McClain, and Khatari Gaulden. Jonathan Jackson was gunned down outside the Marin County California courthouse on August 7, 1970 as he attempted to liberate three imprisoned Black Liberation Fighters: James McClain, William Christmas and Ruchell Magee. Ruchell Magee is the sole survivor of that armed liberation attempt. He is the former co-defendant of Angela Davis and has been locked down for 47 years, most of it in solitary confinement. George Jackson was assassinated by prison guards during a Black prison rebellion at San Quentin on August 21, 1971. Three prison guards were also killed during that rebellion and prison officials charged six Black and Latino prisoners with the death of those guards. These six brothers became known as the San Quentin Six. Upon his release from 43 years in solitary confinement, San Quentin Six member Hugo Yogi Panell was murdered on the yard of New Folsom prison.
In the late 1970’s the observance and practice of Black August left the prisons of California and began being practiced by Black/New Afrikan revolutionaries throughout the country. Members of the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM) began practicing and spreading Black August during this period. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) inherited knowledge and practice of Black August from its parent organization, the New Afrikan People’s Organization (NAPO). MXGM through the Black August Collective (now defunct) began introducing the Hip-Hop community to Black August in the late 1990’s after being inspired by New Afrikan political exile Nehanda Abiodun.
Even now Mumia Abu Jamal, former Black Panther is currently serving a life sentence, unjustly.
AFRICAN COUNTRIES LIBERATED IN AUGUST
We also celebrate the African countries that were able to fight there way to freedom from the invaders/colonizers.
The most famous country to win its freedom is Haiti. Haiti has always been a thorn in the side of the USA as it represented the only country in which slaves, rebelled and took the entire country. It was for this reason US relations with Haiti stayed strained. Many in the USA thought that if free blacks or enslaved blacks found out about Haiti, they would attempt to free their brothers n sisters in the USA and do the same type of rebellions.
The section of the article is pulled directly from the following site. Please support this site as it provides afrocentric content and has been a provider to our culture for years.
–Aug 22, 2016
Nkashama Sankofa, African People’s Socialist Party
Characterized by African resistance, August is a month that should not go unrecognized by African people.
The Haiti Revolution is particularly historic because it consisted of enslaved Africans seizing power and freeing themselves from the chains of bondage.
The Haiti Revolution is known as the most successful rebellion of African people.
It led to the creation of the first African state free from slavery and is an inspiration for African resistance throughout the world.
Christopher Columbus set foot on the island where Haiti is now located in 1492, and began a murderous rampage against the Indigenous people there, basically wiping them out.
Haiti, then known as St. Domingue was called the “Pearl of the Antilles” by French settlers because of the wealth it generated for France, who eventually colonized the western third of Hispaniola after taking control over it from the Spanish.
Enslaved Africans were forced––under horrid condition––to grow sugarcane, cotton and tobacco on its fertile soil.
By the year 1700, 50,000 Africans were brought to the island per year. They lived an average of seven years under the brutal and inhumane conditions.
These conditions were a breeding ground for rebellions as Africans would not stand for the tortures they were made to endure by the French.
A Vodou priest named Mackandal led a network of followers who carried out raids and secret attacks from 1751 until he was captured and murdered by the French in 1758.
They, however, were able to poison slave owners and their families for years before his capture.
His band of followers eventually became Maroons––a community of African runaways––who lived in the dense forests and mountains. The Maroons continued to carry out raids on the French even after Mackandal’s death.
Revolution on the Rise!
The first rebellion of the Haitian Revolution started on August 21, 1791 as Africans took up the demands of the French Revolution of 1789.
They had driven out the French under the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverture and controlled two thirds of the island by 1793 yet they were still sought after by European countries that wanted to continue to colonize the people.
The heroic Toussaint L’Ouverture successfully defeated an attack by the British by 1798. They arrived to conquer the island five years earlier.
Africans seized control of the whole island of Hispaniola in 1801 which included the Spanish colony of San Domingo (Dominican Republic) and freed all enslaved Africans there.
Toussaint L’Ouverture declared himself Governor-General of the island.
Napoleon, the French ruler who came into power after the French revolution, decided that year to reclaim the island and enslave the African people once again. He was defeated despite sending over 40,000 troops to take the island back.
The French at this point, pretended to want to negotiate with Toussaint L’Ouverture on a ship docked off the coast of Port-au-Prince.
He went against the advice of his general Jean Jacque Dessalines. The French did just as expected and set sail for France after Toussaint L’Ouverture came aboard to negotiate.
Toussaint was taken to Paris where he died in prison of pneumonia.
The French felt confident in launching another attack with Toussaint L’Ouverture finally dead.
Long live Haiti!
The spirit of Mackandal was invoked in a ceremony in 1803 just before a turning point in the Revolution.
That turning point came in the Battle of Vertieres November 18, 1803.
General Jean Jacque Dessalines, who took command of the Haitian army after Toussaint’s death, was a military genius.
He defeated Napoleon’s forces once and for all during this fierce battle.
Haiti was declared independent on January 1, 1804 and Jean Jacque Dessalines became its first Head of State. He was, however, assassinated two years later causing a power struggle among his successors.
Jean Pierre Boyer united Haiti in 1820 and led for two decades.
Haiti was declared a safe place for all African people seeking freedom from their colonizers. Over 6,000 Africans actually made it to Haiti from the U.S. between 1824 and 1826 where they found freedom.
A symbol of white imperial defeat by oppressed Africans, Haiti was forced by a coalition made up of France, Britain and the U.S. to pay 90 million dollars in gold francs as reparations to France from 1825 to 1947. By the imperialists’ logic, Haiti owed France for the stolen property. The “property” which they were referring to is Africans who freed themselves from slavery.
Today, Haiti has maintained a strong fire of resistance, especially during this period where imperialism is in crisis.
Often referred to as “little Africa,” Haiti and the Africans there have held on to much of the African culture.
Despite the military occupations by the U.S., economic attacks from imperialist European countries and their representatives, like Hillary Clinton, Haiti and its people remain proud of their rich history of resistance.
Africans have the right to resist our colonial oppression!
Forward the International African Revolution!
One Africa One Nation!
The following countries became free in AUGUST.
1st August : Benin
The referendum of 28 September 1958 proposing the Franco-African Community project paved the way for independence, to which Dahomey acceded on 1 August.
3rd August: Niger
In the 1958 referendum, the “yes” vote prevailed, and Diori Hamani came to power. The Republic was proclaimed on 18 December 1958, but independence was solemnly declared on 3 August 1960.
5th August: Burkina Faso
First of all, a French protectorate with the establishment of an autonomous government and a republic within the French community. Burkina Faso obtained its independence from France on 5 August 1960.
7th August: Ivory Coast
Following the 1958 referendum, Ivory Coast became an autonomous Republic.
11th August: Chad
Two years after becoming a Republic, Chad gained independence on 11 August 1960.
13th August: Central African Republic
The Central African Republic becomes an “autonomous territory” of the French Republic. It obtained its independence from France.
15th August: Republic of the Congo
In the 1958 referendum, the Congolese said “yes” to the French Community by 99% of the votes. The country then became an autonomous Republic
16th August: Gabon
Criticised by several opposition parties for renouncing independence, Prime Minister Léon M’Ba resigned himself to proclaim it on 17 August.
Another interesting aspect of Black August as it tends to be the hottest month in North America. Although many kidnapped African/Slave rebellions and uprisings took place in the summer, August was an especially fiery month for our people to raise up and fight for freedom. The following represent just a few of those battles and major events.
slave rebellions, in the history of the Americas, periodic acts of violent resistance by Black slaves during nearly three centuries of chattel slavery. Such resistance signified continual deep-rooted discontent with the condition of bondage and, in some places, such as the United States, resulted in ever-more-stringent mechanisms for social control and repression in slaveholding areas. In other places, however, the rebellions sometimes contributed to a growing belief on the part of colonial authorities that the institution of slavery was becoming untenable.
In the United States, the myth of the contented slave was essential to the preservation of the South’s “peculiar institution,” and the historical record of rebellions was frequently clouded by exaggeration, censorship, and distortion. Estimates of the total number of slave revolts vary according to the definition of insurrection. For the two centuries preceding the American Civil War (1861–65), one historian found documentary evidence of more than 250 uprisings or attempted uprisings involving 10 or more slaves whose aim was personal freedom. Rebellions were also frequent throughout the Caribbean region and Latin America.
Few slave rebellions were systematically planned, and most were merely spontaneous and quite short-lived disturbances by small groups of slaves. Such rebellions were usually attempted by male bondsmen and were often betrayed by house servants who identified more closely with their masters. Not all revolts had complete freedom as their aim; some had relatively modest goals, such as better conditions or the time and the freedom to work part-time for themselves and their families.
August 20, 1619: First born Afrikan captives were brought to England’s North Amerikan colony of Jamestown, Virginia.
August 16, 1768: Charlestown, South Carolina. Rebellious Afrikan slaves (known as maroons) engaged British military forces in bloody battle defending their camp which was a haven for fugitive slaves.
August 30, 1800: Day set for launching Gabriel Prosser’s revolt. On this day over 1000 armed slaves gathered to endeavor to secure their liberty, however bad weather forced them to postpone the revolt and betrayal ultimately led to the crushing of their physical force.
August 21, 1831: Slave revolt launched under the leadership of Nat Turner which lasted four days and resulted in fifty-one slaveholders and their loved ones being subjected to revolutionary people’s justice.
August 29, 1841: Street skirmish took place in Cincinnati between Afrikan and Euro-Amerikan, wherein for five days Afrikans waged valiant struggle in defense of their women, children and property against brutal racist terror campaigns.
August 1854: Delegates from eleven states met in Cleveland at the National Emigration Convention of the Colored People, to advance the position that an independent land base (nation) be set up for the absorption of captive Afrikans in Babylon who wanted to return to Afrika.
August 1, 1856: North Carolina. Fierce battle erupted between fugitive slaves and slaveholders who sought their capture and re-enslavement. The only recorded casualties were among slaveholders.
August 1860: Freedom (slave) conspiracy uncovered with the discovery of an organized camp of Afrikans and Euro-Amerikan co-conspirators in Talladega County, Alabama.
August 2, 1865: Virginia. A statewide conference of fifty Afrikan delegates met to demand that Afrikans in Virginia be granted legal title to land occupied during the Civil War. Numerous off-pitch battles ensued during this same month as terrorist mobs moved to evict Afrikans from the land and were met with resistance.
August 17, 1887: Honorable Marcus Garvey, father of contemporary Afrikan Nationalism, was born.
August 1906: Afrikan soldiers (in service of Babylon) enraged behind racial slurs and discrimination struck out and wrecked the town of Brownville, Texas.
August 1906: Niagara Movement met at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia and issued W.E.B. DuBois’ historic manifesto against racist discrimination in Babylon against Afrikans.
August 1, 1914: Garvey founds Universal Negro Improvement Association, advancing the call for Land, Freedom, and Independence for Afrikan people.
August 23, 1917: Afrikan soldiers in Huston engaged in street skirmishes that left more than seventeen Euro-American racists dead.
August 1920: Over two thousand delegates representing Afrikans from the four corners of the earth gathered in New York for the International Convention of the Negro People of the World, sponsored by UNIA. The convention issued a bill of rights for Afrikans.
August 1943: Slave revolt took place in Harlem as result of a K-9 shooting a brother defending the honour of Afrikan womanhood. More than 16,000 military and police personnel were required to quell the rebellion.
August 1963: 190,000 Afrikans (250,000 people in total) took part in the March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King to petition for the extension of the rights and privileges due to them mandated by the U.S. Constitution.
August 1964: Afrikans launched comparatively large-scale urban slave revolts in the following cities: Jersey City NY, Paterson NJ, Keansburg NJ, Chicago IL, and Philadelphia PA. These slave revolts were for the most part sparked by either police brutality or disrespect shown toward Afrikan womanhood.
August 16, 1965: Urban revolts took place in Northern Philadelphia.
August 7-8, 1966: A large-scale urban revolt was launched in Lansing, Michigan.
August 28, 1966: Waukegan, Illinois. Urban slave revolt launched in response to police brutality.
July 30-August 2, 1967: Urban slave revolt launched in Milwaukee.
August 19-24, 1967: A comparatively large-scale urban slave revolt was launched in New Haven, Connecticut.
August 7, 1970: Jonathan Jackson killed in firefight while leading the Marin County Courthouse raid.
August 21, 1971: George Jackson shot and killed in San Quentin by tower guards.
Pan Africanism and Black Liberation is the next topic in this series. Please ensure you get a chance to visit the Pan African Exhibit.
In the USA, we have Black August Celebrations focused on promoting the truth of our international struggle. In the future we hope to list all Black August Celebrations throughout the USA, Africa and the Diaspora.
A local tour is available in Oakland, Ca → https://www.blwt.org/