What is Black August?
Weusi Agosti is what it’s called in Swahili. Black August is a commemoration month; not a holiday as some have suggested. It’s a commemorative observation that originated in the 1970s in the slave camps of the United States prison system.
When the rise of the prison struggles started to rise, The New Afrikan Revolutionary Prison Movement started to organize and demonstrate resistance with self defense for New Afrikan Black Prisoners against racist attacks from the state and racist organizations resulting in deaths starting with W.L. Nolen, Alvin ” Jug ” Miller, Cleveland Edwards, up to the assassinations of commanders George Jackson and Joka Khatari Gaulden, and even recently August 2015 Hugo Pinell of The San Quentin Six was assassinated a comrade of The Dragon George Jackson!
Black August is a month that was formed in the inside of the prison institutions by the brothers to remember those deaths through fasting (24 hours) on Flea days on and off, studying, training and exercising the mind body and spirit intensely, especially with reading and educating themselves transforming themselves from criminals to revolutionaries. The prisons became universities and the curriculum was Revolutionary Science.
Could you explain what is B.A.M. and B.A.R. and the Difference between the two?
Let me say this also for clarification, Black August was also formed on the outside by The Black August Organizing Committee (BAOC) 1979-1980 with its first demonstration outside San Quentin prison walls then festivals and events would continue on through the 1980s at various parks, bookstores, in different cities and states etc!
Two great brothers Shujaa Graham and Shaka At Thinnin are the O.G.s of BAOC. Then in the inside of the prisons, there’s the Black August Memorial Coordinating Committee (BAMCC ) who created BAM & BAR, BAM is the Black August Memorial strictly for commemorating the revolutionary spirits of the 8 martyrs of Black August, BAR is Black August Resistance this is what we call the Socio-Cultural Political component of BAM, which is focusing on the resistance and The freedom fighters alive and dead who sacrificed their lives for New Afrikan people like Gabriel Prosser, Nat Turner to Dr Mutulu Shakur & Assata Shakur and of course Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War most importantly! BAMCC O.G.s include Abdul Shakur, Sitawaa Jamaa and others!
What are FLEA DAYS of Black August?
BAM FLEA Days The word FLEA is a acronym that allegedly stands for First Liberation Expedition Afrika, FLEA Days are a total of four (4) days during this month: the 1st, 7th, 13th, and 21st Each of these days represent the death of some staunch New Afrikan Revolutionary freedom fighter. Each FLEA day is a 24 hour fast. Meaning, that we retreat from the intake of food sun up sun down, no alcohol intake, no drugs, restrain from watching tv, invest in reading & excercising and eating healthy when the fast is broke and through out the month! FLEA days are essential to (B. A.M.), as they help to build spiritual unity, and reminds us of our collective self-sacrifice. Also The brothers and their family members, friends and supporters who participated in the collective founding of Black August wore black armbands on their left arm and studied revolutionary works. Number 5 of The Tenants of Black August it states As an outward expression of BA we wear a Black arm band on the left armor wrist as a tribute to those Africans who have died as a result of their sacrifice for African Liberation. The arm band can be worn either on the inside or outside of your clothing.
Black August (BA) is a revolutionary concept Therefore, all revolutionaries, nationalists and others who are committed to ending oppression should actively participate in Black August.
Flea Day 1 August 1st 1978 – Khatari Gaulden assassinated/medical neglect
Flea Day 2 August 7 1970 Marin Kourt Rebellion Jonathan Jackson, James McClain, William Christmas
Flea Day 3 August 13th – January 13 1970 W.L. Nolen , Alvin Big Jug Miller, Cleveland Edwards Assassinated By Prison Guards
Fleas Day 4 August 21st 1971 – George Jackson Assassinated By Prison Guards
Also you can check out The Five Tenants of Black August as well by O.G. Doc Holiday another comrade of George Jackson.
Who is George Jackson?
Commander/ Field Marshall George Jackson was a Revolutionary leader of the New Afrikan Revolutionary Prison Movement ( NARPM ) a Theoretician, Author, Organizer who went from a Lumpen prison street tribe ( Wolf Pack ) member ( criminal mentality ) to a Revolutionary Outlaw Leader mobilizer & thinker ( revolutionary mentality ) a model of transformation, he was a Black Panther & Black Guerrilla ( BGF ) member who was incarcerated since 1961 for a petty 70$ gas station robbery sentenced to a one to life term who lead a movement of stiff resistance against the prison penal system and racist prison guards who were murdering and beating New Afrikan Prisoners daily in prison, he was the mind of the prison struggle a Soledad brother who was charged with two other brothers in a retaliation incident resulting in a prison guard being killed George Jackson was assassinated August 21 1971 one year later after his brother at 17 years old tried to free him and the Soledad brothers from prison August 7 1970 a year earlier who was murdered by Police. He has wrote two important books Soledad Brothers & Blood in My Eye that’s extremely helping brothers and sisters inside prison and out change their lives and their thinking producing productive new Afrikan men and women!
What are somethings can people do during Black August to join in on commemorating and observing Black August?
First i would say it’s a community thing i would tell them to start with family and community to learn about Black August starting in your own household creating Black August events or simply doing it with your family and teaching your kids about Black August so they can learn about those who have sacrifice and fought for our people! They can also start by Writing Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War have writing letter nights or campaigns to support them, also Black August is also important cause there are significant dates through out black august that can be highlighted like Slave Rebellions of Nat Turner, Gabriel Prosser, The Haitian Revolution, Birthdays of some of our political prisoners, freedom fighters like Fred Hampton & Mutulu Shakur and other great black men and women in August so there’s alot of activity in Black August that our people can observe and learn about great history.
Why is important for Black People to Learn about Black August?
It’s important for them to learn about it cause it’s not really that popular to the everyday working class black families and community they must overstand that the struggle against racism, discrimination, inequality, hatred, and violence wasn’t just in our communities but also this struggle was going on in the prisons across america, when we go to prison and what we face on the outside doesn’t end when we go inside these prison slave kamps men and women prisons! They also need to learn that our people and the struggle of resistance is not to be taken for granted and that we have been resisting every since we were brought here from Africa as a enslaved people the resistance started on the ships and really ignited from some of the first rebellions of our African Ancestors like in 1526 South Carolina San Miguel de Gualdape and has continued for over 400 + years since legalized slavery of 1619 in Virginia when those first Africans were brought to america and those freedom fighters of the 1960s 1970s resistance movements must be remembered!
In closing, I want to say a few names we have to recognize and remember Kiilu Nyasha, Mama Ayanna Mashama and everybody of The BAOC ( Black August Organizing Committee ), Black August Los Angeles & Sacramento, BAMCC ( Black August Memorial Coordinating Committee ) Shaka at Thinnin, Shujaa Graham, Abdul Shakur, Joka Heshima Jensai, Sitawaa Jamaa, Mutope Duguma, Khalfani Malik Khaldun, Shaka Shakur, RBG Street Scholar, Sanyika Shakur, Kwame Shakur August Third Collective NAPLA, Long Live Joka Khatari Gaulden, W.L. Nolen, Alvin Jug Miller, William Christmas, Cleveland Edwards, James Mcclain, Jonathan Jackson, James Carr, Hugo Pinell, shout out to Howard Tole, Warren Wells, Kumasi, George Big Jake Lewis and All New Afrikan Political Prisoners still behind bars clutch fist salute!