by NABPP-PC Minister of Justice Bobby Marion Dixon
From behind the enemy lines of the California State Prison System, from within the “belly of the beast” that is the Amerikan injustice system, I greet you all and call for your full attention to the annual commemoration of Black August and invite all prisoners and families throughout Amerika to join us in honoring our beloved martyrs with fasting, studying and sharing respect and unity with Panther love and knowledge in the spirit of our fallen comrades.
We shed tears for our fallen comrades and for the masses brutally victimized by the racist, fascist, murdering police. We have a right to cry over our dead, for every life is precious beyond measure. The loss of each who have been killed by the oppressor in this land of exile and enslavement is intolerable. We concentrate this month on those who have been taken from us but who will never be forgotten for the love of freedom that they dedicated their lives to.
Our grief is real, and so is our determination to continue the struggle until all are free and the oppression of our people is no more. Our grief and our pain makes us more human and stronger because it is based upon love. Our love and determination help the people to struggle on and bring us closer to liberation. We must stand up as one, a united people determined to win our liberation in this century.
Black August is a month of great significance for Africans throughout the diaspora, but particularly here in the U.S. where it originated. “August,” as Mumia Abu Jamal noted, “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 concept of Black August grew out of the need to expose to the masses the glorious and heroic deeds of those African women and men who recognized the need to fight against the injustices heaped upon people of color on a daily basis in Amerika.
Join us in honoring our beloved martyrs with fasting, studying and sharing respect and unity with Panther love and knowledge in the spirit of our fallen comrades.
To clear our minds, I propose that we eat but one meal a day throughout the month of August and fast completely on Aug. 7 in honor of Jonathan Jackson and on Aug. 21 in honor of George Jackson, and again on Aug. 31 in honor of Hasan Shakur, the original minister of human rights of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC), who was executed by the state of Texas for a crime he did not commit. On Aug. 31, we also remember Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Gus Rugley, Alan Blueford, Trayvon Martin and all the many young people who have been murdered by the cops and gang violence.
This Black August, we will honor our martyr and political prisoner Hugo “Yogi” Pinell. A close comrade of George Jackson, the prison system never stopped persecuting him, held him in solitary confinement for 46 years, then assassinated him on the New Folsom yard on Aug. 12, 2015. Yogi embodied the principles – most of all the love – traditional to Black August.
During this month of fasting, the veterans of the struggle and elders should make a special effort to reach out to and teach the youth our history and the lessons of our peoples’ struggle. We should strengthen our commitment to practicing Panther love and throw away old grudges and resentments and initiate new friendships. We draw those around us closer and build the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood between us.
If you know your enemy and know yourself, then the battle will be won. We must overstand the truth and hold our friends close, as there are few who can be trusted.
This Black August, we will honor our martyr and political prisoner Hugo “Yogi” Pinell. Yogi embodied the principles – most of all the love – traditional to Black August.
Besides fasting, comrades should work out their minds as well as their bodies. Some books I recommend are:
- “Like Your Life Depended on It” by Art Lewin
- “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander
- “We Are Our Own Liberators” by Jalil Muntaqim
- “Race in 21st Century America” by Darlene Clark Hine
- “Power Politics & Conflict in Organizations” by Joseph Carrer
- “Revolutionary Notes” by Julius Lester
Power to the people!
Comrade Bobby M. Dixon is Minister of Justice of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter. Send our brother some love and light: Bobby M. Dixon, C-41652, CHCF P3-A-127L, P.O. Box 32080, Stockton CA 95213.