Burning Spear News
Celebrate the month of African resistance: Support the Spear in Black August
Writer, freedom fighter and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal defined Black August as “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.”
Black August is a time of great significance in the history of our resistance as African people.
It started in the prison camp of San Quentin in California.
Africans would wear black armbands to remember the heroic actions of the “Soledad Brothers”; Jonathan Jackson, his brother George Jackson and three other African 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, 1970, freed James McClain, William Christmas, Khatari Gaulden, Ruchell Magee and took a white colonial judge hostage to demand the release of his big brother George.
(Left to right) Jonathan Jackson and James McClain.
Jonathan was killed at the courthouse alongside William Christmas and James McClain.
The judge as well as several pigs were killed also.
George Jackson was later assassinated by the State while in San Quentin on August 21, 1971.
Six African and indigenous men were put on trial for their participation in the following rebellion.
Known as the San Quentin Six, they were honored alongside the Jackson brothers and the African heroes of the August 7 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 African communities throughout the U.S.
Embracing an African revolutionary tradition
Africans resisting French colonialism in Haiti on August 2, 1791.
The month was observed with everything from the original traditions of intense political study, exercise and fasting to boycotting non-African 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, though.
The first enslaved African was brought to the colony of Virginia in August, 1619.
The Haitian Revolution began in August, 1791. Gabriel Prosser's rebellion started August 30, 1800.
Nat Turner's rebellion began August 21, 1831. 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 and on August 9, 2014, Africans in Ferguson, Missouri rose up and fought back against the police that murdered 18-year-old Mike Brown.
This rebellion, led by the courageous young African working class, served as the turning point for our struggle.
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-Chicago, Chairman Fred Hampton.
The amount of great and world shaping history that has occurred during 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 or some psychic connection be a factor?
It is not clear to us why August is the month that these events happened but it is clear to us that we have a duty to carry on the tradition of resistance.
It is our first duty to resist our oppression every day of the year.
August is a special time for the remembrance of those who have sacrificed their lives to years of revolutionary struggle, imprisonment as well as death, which is why we must never forget that there is no sacrifice that is too great for the liberation of our people.
Marcus Garvey resists imperialist imposed identities to unite the African Nation
As mentioned, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, one of Africa’s greatest sons, was born August 17, 1887—the month of Black August.
He founded the Universal Negro Improvement Associaition and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL), an organization of 11 million Africans all around the world fighting for a liberated Africa.
He boldly declared, “Africa for Africans, at home and abroad!”, shattering the idea that African people dispersed around the world should identify with the imperialist carved borders we’ve been forced behind.
It was the UNIA-ACL who, on August 13, 1920, voted for the flag that would represent the African Nation: the red, black and green.
It is this flag, established as our own in the month of Black August, that further cements us as one Africa, one nation!
The Burning Spear proudly observes Black August with revolutionary work and dedication to our African prisoners
The Burning Spear is calling on every reader to answer the call to spread the message of revolution this Black August.
We are challenging our readers and subscribers to raise $5,000 to financially assist us in spreading African Internationalism to the African masses.
We also call on you to support by getting a Mafundi Lake sponsor-a-prisoner subscription to the Spear.
The Burning Spear is a powerful weapon in the hands of the African working class and we work diligently to provide our people the best political analysis and information on the revolutionary activities of the Uhuru Movement and the African working class around the world.
Our dedication to providing the newspaper to our brothers and sisters in these concentration camps called prisons is deeply rooted in our commitment to the freedom of African people.
Mass incarceration is one of the main contributors to the genocide of African people.
One out of every eight prisoners on the planet is an African in the U.S.
Yet, the prison camps of this country is home to one of the most revolutionary sectors of the African working class.
It was in the prison camps that many of our most significant modern rebellions have happened.
Places like Attica and Rikers Island in New York, Holman in Alabama as well as Corcoran and San Quentin among others have waged the most fierce struggles despite facing some of the most brutal conditions and punishments as a result.
It is with no regret that we provide The Burning Spear to prisoners for free, though it is very costly to do so.
We must keep our brothers and sisters who are in bondage connected to organized political life and analysis.
They must know that they are not forgotten.
Give them the mental fortitude of knowing that there are revolutionaries fighting by their side to free them and all African people.
Point number six of the working platform of the African People's Socialist Party (APSP) states that: “We want the immediate and unconditional release of all black people who are presently locked down in the U.S.”
We must organize Africans in the U.S. prison camps.
We must fight to free them just as we must free ourselves.
Every day of every year that African people have been colonized, we have been fighting to overthrow our colonial oppressors to recapture our lives, land, and resources.
We will continue to fight until it’s won—holding up the righteous resistance of Black August.
Uhuru in our lifetime!
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