Black August 2020
As we head into the thick heat of summer, we're inviting you to join Equality North Carolina in observation of Black August -- a month-long period of remembrance about the history of anti-Black, violent, systematic oppression in this country and the giants and revolutionaries who laid the foundation for the work of our movements today.
Black August first officially began in 1979 following almost two decades of organizing and resistance by folks like George Jackson, James Carr, Hugo Pinell, W.L. Nolan, Khatari Golden and others while within the walls of the California penitentiary system. These men took it upon themselves to form a brotherhood that solidified a collective consciousness surrounding the unjust treatment of Blackness by the American judicial system, and the horrific atrocities they experienced as Black individuals experiencing incarceration.
Black August began as a way to honor these fallen Freedom Fights and others who lost their lives while fighting back against racialized violence and oppression within California prisons. Today, we also recognize the numerous people of color movements and acts of resistance that began within the month of August, including the March on Washington, the Haitian Revolution, Nat Turner’s Rebellion, Watts Uprising and so many others.
Black August, like many parts of BIPOC American history, is not taught in public schools. As a result, you may not be familiar with it, but Equality North Carolina would like to invite you on this journey of learning (and unlearning) the history of racialized oppression in this country over the course of the next few weeks.
We also hope that our membership, friends and family will use this important historical context to frame our larger cultural conversation surrounding race, policing and incarceration -- all systems that have been used to systematically disenfranchise BIPOC since this country was founded.
"August is a month of 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....The spirit of Black August moves through centuries of Black, Indian and multi-cultural resistance. It is an emblem of the spirit of freedom.” - Mumia Abu Jamal.