The Burning Spear newspaper is celebrating the month of August––Black August––with a month-long fundraiser to raise $10,000 towards the production and distribution of our revolutionary newspaper!
“Black August: Keep The Spear Burning” will educate the masses of African people of the history and significance of this 38-year-old revolutionary celebration, while winning our people to support our very own black power newspaper through prisoner sponsorships, getting subscriptions and becoming distributors!
There will be various Uhuru Movement events held throughout the country in celebration of Black August putting forth the significance and history of The Spear and outlining various stories of African resistance, many of which have been chronicled in our beloved newspaper.
Black August: A month “of repression and righteous rebellion”
Writer, freedom fighter and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal defined Black August as “a month of individual and collective efforts to free the slaves and break the chains that bind us.”
Indeed, Black August is of great significance in the history of African resistance.
Black August originated in the concentration camp of San Quentin in California in 1979.
The African prisoners would wear black armbands to remember the heroic actions of the Soledad Brothers, the San Quentin Six, Jonathan Jackson, Khatari Gaulden and all our fallen Freedom Fighters.
The Soledad Brothers––George Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo and John Clutchette––were said to have killed prison guard John Vincent Mills on January 16, 1970, in retaliation for the murders of three black prisoners during a prison fight in the exercise yard three days prior by another guard, Opie G. Miller.
George Jackson’s 17-year-old brother, Jonathan Jackson, took control of the Marin County, California courthouse on August 7, 1970. He took judge Harold Haley, deputy district attorney Gary Thomas and three women on the jury hostage to secure the freedom of the Soledad Brothers.
Jonathan and two other prisoners James McClain and William Christmas were murdered by the State as they attempted to drive away from the courthouse. Thomas was wounded.
Judge Haley was also killed, while one of the jurors was wounded.
The State, in a remarkable attempt to prevent the liberation of the escaped prisoners, had no qualms in killing their own in the process.
Black August spreads beyond the prison camps
A year later, George Jackson was murdered by the State on August 21, 1971 in what was clearly a targeted assassination in San Quentin. .
Known as the San Quentin Six, they were honored alongside the Jackson brothers and the African heroes of the August 7th courthouse rebellion during the earliest days of Black August observance.
Militant activist Khatari Gaulden, who was inspired by George Jackson, was murdered in 1978 by the State while also imprisoned in San Quentin.
This was the period during which Black August observances began to spread beyond the walls of California’s prison camps and into African communities throughout the U.S.
A revolutionary tradition
Black August month was observed with everything from the original traditions of intense political study, exercise and fasting to boycotting anti-black owned businesses and observing the overwhelming amount of revolutionary history that is in the month of August.
Black August is a time for study, political education and outreach about our history and current colonial conditions of our people.
But August is not only the month of the Soledad Brothers and the San Quentin Six.
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. And the Watts Rebellion took place in August, 1965.
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 Chairman Fred Hampton.
It is clear to us here at The Burning Spear that we have a responsibility 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 imprisonment as well as death so that we must never forget that there is no sacrifice that is too great for the liberation of African people.
The Burning Spear observes Black August with revolutionary work and dedication to our African prisoners.
The Burning Spear is calling on every reader to spread the message of revolution this Black August.
Although Black August observance began in the prison concentration camps in California almost 40 years ago, what must be remembered is that thousands of black militants were transferred from the streets to maximum security gulags.
The prisons were used as a counterinsurgency weapon to defeat the Black Revolution of the Sixties. The militants who once walked the Black Panther Party infested streets of Oakland and Los Angeles were now in prison where the struggle would continue.
It is our responsibility today to re-ignite this struggle and ensure that the revolutionary words on the pages of our newspaper reach our brothers and sisters behind enemy lines.
Our people behind bars must be brought into organized political life once again. They must be given the opportunity to participate in all levels of the movement and organization. They must have a media to report on and support the struggles that are being made on the inside. The Burning Spear newspaper must be available to our comrades who are locked down.
Our dedication to providing the newspaper to our brothers and sisters in prison camps throughout the U.S. is deeply rooted in our commitment to the freedom of African people.
It is with this dedication that we struggle daily to maintain our “Sponsor A Prisoner” program through which we send prisoners monthly copies of The Spear for free, based on your donations.
The maintenance of this program is critical, comrades.
So we are challenging our readers, subscribers and supporters to help us raise $10,000 to financially assist us in spreading African Internationalism to African prisoners and the general African masses.
In honor of Black August, we call on you to sponsor a prisoner today! You can also donate, get your own yearly subscription or become a distributor!
Do your part for the African Revolution.
Support our Black August campaign! Donate!
Sponsor a prisoner!
We are winning!