Black August 2020
#BLACKAUGUST: THE TRUE HISTORY, CULTURE, & PRACTICE
By the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
“Each year officially since 1979 we have used the month of August to focus on the oppressive treatment of our brothers and sisters disappeared inside the state run gulags and concentration camps America calls prisons. It is during this time that we concentrate our efforts to free our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, and all other captive family and friends who have been held in isolation for decade after decade beyond their original sentence. Many of these individuals are held in the sensory deprivation and mind control units called Security Housing Units (S.H.U. Program), without even the most basic of human rights.” –
Shaka At-Thinnin Black August Organizing Committee from “THE ROOTS OF BLACK AUGUST”
Black August originated in the concentration camps (prisons) of California in 1979 and its’ roots come from that history of resistance by Black/New African/African brothers in those prisons. It’s original and unchanging purpose is to:
Honor and commemorate the lives and deaths of several fallen Freedom Fighters, amongst them were Jonathan Jackson, George Jackson, W.L. Nolan, James McClain, William Christmas and Khatari Gaulden;
To bring unity among Black/African/New African prisoners, and education and awareness to family members, friends, associates and communities about the conditions for the Black/New Afrikan prisoners held within those concentration camps (in particular in California) and;
To educate our people about and honor the history and actions of continued resistance of Black/New Afrikan/Afrikan peoples to oppression, colonization and slavery in the U.S. and throughout the Diaspora, with particular emphasis on prisoners, political prisoners, freedom fighters and their historical acts of resistance.
THE ORIGINS OF BLACK AUGUST:
In the month following Khatari’s transition, to honor him and to honor these fallen soldiers and the revolutionary vision and principles they embodied, brothers throughout the prison camps of California united together to continue their revolutionary work. Many of them shaved their heads, they wore black arm bands and in unity with the Black Muslim prisoners during Ramadan, fasted from Sunrise to Sunset.
In August 1979, the first official Black August took place. The brothers and political family members who participated in the collective founding of Black August wore black armbands on their left arm and studied revolutionary works, particularly those of Comrade George Jackson, many participated in the fasting for Ramadan. During the month of August the brothers did not listen to the radio or watch television, additionally, they didn’t eat or drink anything from sun-up to sundown; and loud and boastful behavior was not allowed. Support for the prison’s canteen was also disavowed. The use of drugs and alcoholic beverages was prohibited and the brothers held daily exercises to sharpen their minds, bodies, and spirits in honor of the collective principles of self-sacrifice, inner fortitude and revolutionary discipline needed to advance the New Afrikan struggle for self-determination and freedom. Black August therefore became a commemorative time for us to embrace the principles of communion, unity, self-sacrifice, political education, physical training and determined resistance. A select few community members joined in solidarity.