|Every year in August people around the world commemorate "Black August" in honor of all the fallen black freedom fighters and politial prisoners.
|What is BLACK AUGUST?
RESISTANCE: THE ORIGIN OF BLACK AUGUST
Black August originated in the concentration camps of California 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 rebellion. He is the former co-defendant of Angela Davis and has been locked down for 40 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.
To honor these fallen soldiers the brothers who participated in the collective founding of Black August wore black armbands on their left arm and studied revolutionary works, focusing on the works of George Jackson. In 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. The brothers did not support the prison's canteen. The use of drugs and alcoholic beverages was prohibited and the brothers held daily exercises because during Black August emphasis is placed on sacrifice, fortitude and discipline. Black August is a time to embrace the principles of unity, self-sacrifice, political education, physical training and resistance.
The tradition of fasting during Black August teaches self-discipline. A conscious fast is in effect FROM SUNRISE TO SUNSET (or suggested from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm), this includes refraining from drinking water or liquids and eating food of any kind during that period. Some other personal sacrifice can be made as well. The sundown meal is traditionally shared whenever possible among comrades. On August 31, a People's Feast is held and the fast is broken. Black August fasting should serve as a constant reminder of the conditions our people have faced and still confront. Fasting is uncomfortable at times, but it is helpful to remember all those who have come and gone before us, Ni Nkan Mase, if we stand tall, it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.
THE SPREAD AND GROWTH OF BLACK AUGUST
Black August is a time to STUDY AND PRACTICE EDUCATION AND OUTREACH ABOUT OUR HISTORY AND THE CURRENT CONDITIONS OF OUR PEOPLE. In the late 1970's Black August was moved from the yards of California's concentration camps to New Afrikan communities throughout California and the united states empire. As the Black August practice and tradition spread, it grew to observe not only the sacrifices of the brothers in California's concentration camps, but the sacrifices and struggles of our ancestors against white supremacy, colonialism, and imperialism.
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 Hip Hop Project began introducing the Hip-Hop community to Black August in the late 1990's after being inspired by New Afrikan political exile Nehanda Abiodun.
BRIEF HISTORICAL OUTLINE OF "BLACK AUGUST"
A sampling of this month of "righteous rebellion" and "racist repression" includes: The first Afrikans were brought to Jamestown as slaves in August of 1619. In 1843, Henry Highland Garnett called a general slave strike on August 22. The Underground Railroad was started on August 2, 1850. The March on Washington occurred in August of 1963, Gabriel Prosser's slave rebellion occurred on August 30th, 1800. The "Prophet" Nat Turner planned and executed a slave rebellion that commenced on August 21, 1831. The Watts rebellions were in August of 1965. On August 18, 1971 the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (RNA) was raided by Mississippi police and FBI agents. The MOVE family was bombed by Philadelphia police on August 8, 1978. Further, August is a time of birth. Dr. Mutulu Shakur (New Afrikan prisoner of war), Pan-Africanist Leader Marcus Garvey, Maroon Russell Shoatz (political prisoner) and Chicago Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton were born in August. August is also a time of transition and rebirth. The great scholar and educator W.E.B. Dubois died in Ghana on August 27, 1963. So, August is a month during which New Afrikans can reflect on our current situation and our struggle for self-determination and freedom.
The Struggle Continues!
"Recognizing that the Roots of Black August are founded in the Black August Organizing Committee (BAOC), we, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), are respectfully including this organization in the trademark of *Black August in solidarity with the history and actions that come from this movement."
The biggest celebration on the east coast is the one that is organized by the Malcom X Grassroots Organization
. In past years, Dead Prez, Eryka Badu, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique & so many more.....have participated in the festivities as speakers and featured performers. I love that many of my favorite acts are willing to speak out on issues that plague our community. I am more than sure the Katrina fiasco and Darfur
will be a major topics of convo this year. I couldn't figure out who was performing, but this year's MXGO event
is being held on Aug. 13th at BB King's in NYC. If NY is too far....how does VA sound?
Black Freedom Weekend Coming August 25-27th in Richmond VA
This is Happily Natural Day 2005 (One Floor Beginning of the day Around 2pm)If you know vendors tell them about our festival!!
The purpose of Happily Natural Day is to raise black awareness and cultivate unity & solidarity within the African community. Our goal is accomplished by using spoken word poetry & music along with lectures & workshops to transmit uplifting, educational, and socially conscious messages to the masses at large. Our festivals are always pro-community, and we have stayed true to course in supporting black institutions at each of our former & future celebrations. In 2003, our premiere was held at The Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia and in 2004 our 2nd Annual was held at Nubian Village Academy, Richmond Virginia's premier African Centered School.
Happily Natural Day's thematic and overall marketing aspect is targeted to the natural hair care industry & the conscious community of which we reach a target audience of African men & women ages 18 to 55. The utilization of natural hair care as a thematic has a multi-faceted benefit. First it opens a dialogue on one of the ever-present distresses caused by Post Traumatic Slave Disorder (PTSD) the inferiority complex as identified by psychologist Kenneth Clark and remarked on by Afrikan scholar warriors throughout history such as Marcus Garvey, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Assata Shakur, and Llaila Afrika. Secondly, it allows the conscious community to inter-relate across regional divides, socioeconomic divides, ideological and age divides for the sole purpose of upliftment in a way that is innovative and ever-expansive in methods of application. Fusing music & lectures together we have taken two aspects of Afrikan culture that have always served as means to transmit information from the griots & kemetic priests of our ancestry to the Last Poets & Dr. John Henrik Clarke now, the spoken word has always served as a timeless method to re-iterate where we as a people should be going and what we should be doing to further progress in our community both inwardly and externally.
Our marketing program has strengthened each year with a wider and wider range being reached through print, web and radio media. Happily Natural Day appeals to the mainstream because natural hair care & spoken word poetry is "trendy" today , however, by saturating Happily Natural Day with artists & scholars who are about the mission of social change through not only their words but through their works, deeds, and actions we present natural hair & spoken word through a lens undistorted by commercialism & capitalism. At our festivals you find aficionados of spoken word, specialists in natural hair care, activists, organic farmers, spiritual teachers, students, children, entrepreneurs, politicians, musicians, visual artists, from as far north as New York City and as far south as Miami. Each year our attendance has grown, from 2003 reaching close to 300 patrons at the Black History Museum & Cultural Center to close to 600 in 2004 at Nubian Village Academy. Our flyers & posters have reached walls of restaurants, black owned bookstores & culture shops in Richmond, Tidewater, DC, and Baltimore and the response from these areas have been tremendous.
With your support we can reach an even wider audience, your financial, in-kind, and volunteer contributions will allow us the opportunity to finance even greater print, radio & web promotions for Happily Natural Day, secure lodging & transportation for lecturers and artists, allow for a larger festival space through the use of outdoor tents for vendors & provide staging plus sound equipment for musicians to perform during the day. Through the spirit of our ancestors that fought to raise our consciousness and free our bodies, minds and souls we use Happily Natural Day to reach & bridge the gaps in the black community and invite those who feel the spirit of the ancestors calling, to join the movement to reclaim, reawaken, and resurrect the collective greatness of Afrikan people worldwide.
Happily Natural Day (The Other Floor around 5pm)
Interested in Happily Natural Day? Vending @ Happily Natural Day is Easy If you are interested in vending at Happily Natural Day you can request an application. Your financial support has allowed Happily Natural Day to be successful, and we vow to continue providing economically affordable opportunities for small businesses to promote their products and services. However, vendor spaces are limited and will be reserved only upon completion of the full application & remittance of application fee. Download MS word. application here HAPPILY NATURAL DAY VENDOR APPLICATION
For more information contact804-622-9364 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd heard some chatter about someone having a Black August celebration in Baltimore Next Year!!!! That is wonderful! If you are intertesting in obtaing more information on the subject or if you want to participate in any Black August activities going on in Bmore....stop by the CONSCIOUS HEADS BARBER SHOP AND BOOK STORE (219 E 25th St Baltimore, MD 21218 (410) 889-0100) or visit their site.