Black August statement 2017

by Kamau M. Askari

Black August Memorial (BAM) is our socialist oriented institution that was developed out of the special need for New Afrikan (Black) people in Amerika to implement our own ways and means to commemorate the selfless sacrifices and deeds rendered by many New Afrikan (Black) heroes and sheroes – exposing to the light of day the injustices heaped upon us daily in pursuit of the New Afrikan (Black) freedom, justice, equality and human and civil rights.

Black-August-by-Rashid-Johnson-web-300x230, Black August statement 2017, Abolition Now!
“Black August” – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 158039, ICC Unit, 501 S. Calhoun St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-2500. PLEASE flood that prison with mail for Rashid to protect him. He’s now in the fourth state prison system to try to break his spirit – from Virginia to Oregon to Texas and now Florida – but he’d die first. We can’t let that happen!

New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalist (NARN) prisoners of war behind enemy lines of Kalifornia’s infamous prison system issued the initial call culminating in the manifestation of our Black August concept.

Our Black August concept was ignited by the events of Aug. 1, 1978, whereupon our beloved comrade Jeffrey “Joka Khatari” Gaulden, the torch bearer of comrades W.L. Nolen, George L. Jackson and Steven “Hacimu” Browning, sustained a head injury while playing football with his comrades on San Quentin State Prison’s Adjustment Center (AC) exercise yard, and due to San Quentin prison officials’ and medical staff’s intentional lack of medical treatment, it resulted in the death of our beloved Joka Khatari.

During the following year, 1979, NARN, under the direction and tutelage of Shujaa, established the BAM Black August Organizing Committee (BAOC) commemorating our fallen New Afrikan (Black) freedom fighters who gave their lives in service and interests of New Afrikan (Black) people on both sides of prison walls. Our first BAOC chairperson was Motha, wife and beloved fallen comrade Peggy “Adama Kambon” Carter.

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We have identified four specific dates during the month of “Weusi Agosti” (Black August) designated as FLEA days – the first, seventh, 13th and 21st – for the precise purpose of honoring and giving tribute to the selfless sacrifices and heroic deeds of our comrades and freedom fighters who died at the hands of our tormentors:

  • Black August 1, 1978, in honor and tribute to Jeffery “Joka Khatari” Gaulden (1945-1978);
  • Black August 7, 1970, in honor of the armed action at the Marin County Civic Center, in tribute to Manchild Jonathan P. Jackson (1951-1970), James D. McClain and William Christmas;
  • Black August 13, 1970, in honor of W.L. Nolen (1944-1970) and in tribute to Alvin “Fig” Miller (1947-1970) and Cleveland Edwards (1950-1970), assassinated during a racial melee by a racist prison guard on Soledad State Prison’s newly opened and integrated O-Wing exercise yard Tuesday, Jan. 13, 1970, 8:45 a.m.;
  • Black August 21, 1971, in honor and proud tribute to dragon-comrade George Lester Jackson (1941-1971), assassinated during what was described by prisoncrats as some sort of elaborate escape attempt. Comrade George fled San Quentin’s Adjustment Center when the danger was palpable and escape impossible. Comrade George believed we are obligated to demonstrate we have the capacity to stand up regardless of the consequences.

In the many years since the time of its inception, our BA concept has morphed to encompass other significant individuals and moments in New Afrikan (Black) history in Amerika, with emphasis being placed upon historical persons and events which have occurred during the month of August. The commemorative practices constituting our BA concept have been embraced and are being celebrated annually by our people, their political and social groups and organizations throughout the diaspora.

BA entails introspection, retrospection, spiritual renewal and construct at the basis of commemorative exercises embodying a spirit of Black August Resistance (BAR) and the building of a consciousness and revolutionary culture (Mpinduzi Utamaduni) in opposition to the oppressive and exploitative dominant culture of Amerikan kapitalist society. It establishes its own definition of what constitutes legitimate struggle – struggle that is predicated upon a form of resistance outside the purview of what is socially acceptable by the aims and standards of the petit-bourgeoisie. Struggle that rejects the role of the slave and the terms of the slaveholder.

BAR represents the higher consciousness of the New Afrikan (Black) people exemplified by the unflinching and intrepid examples of W.L. Nolen, Comrade George L. Jackson, Manchild Jonathan P. Jackson and our beloved Jeffrey “Joka Khatari” Gaulden. The klass interest represented by these comrades is in the interest of the New Afrikan (Black) working klass and the oppressed poor.

BAR represents the higher consciousness of the New Afrikan (Black) people exemplified by the unflinching and intrepid examples of W.L. Nolen, Comrade George L. Jackson, Manchild Jonathan P. Jackson and our beloved Jeffrey “Joka Khatari” Gaulden.

The practical programs and commemorative exercises underlying BAM – Black August Memorial – and spirit of resistance established by BAR – Black August Resistance – constitutes a way of life that is applicable 365 days of the year and not solely confined to the month of August.

BA is a viable social concept and its significance to our many New Afrikan (Black) communities is that it can be a framework for achieving collective power, and the means through which our New Afrikan (Black) nation can control our political, social and economic interests.

Black August should be both observed and supported by New Afrikan (Black) people because the politics inherent to BA seeks to motivate and guide our people in the identification, apprehension and resolution of the existential contradictions adversely affecting our people’s ability to procure the basic provisions essential to their lives.

UJIMA – collective work and responsibility: building, maintaining and controlling the politics and economics within our New Afrikan (Black) communities together – and UJAMAA – cooperative economics: building and maintaining our own stores, shops, factories etc. together and profiting from them together – is also at the basis of our BA socialist oriented commemorative practices.

The practical programs and commemorative exercises underlying BAM – Black August Memorial – and spirit of resistance established by BAR – Black August Resistance – constitutes a way of life that is applicable 365 days of the year and not solely confined to the month of August.

We also concur with the Ten Point Platform of the Black Panther Party (BPP), which is a list of just revolutionary demands put forth to the oppressive and exploitative establishment government by a Black revolutionary nationalist political and military organization. The Ten Point Platform are demands based in the politics of activism, of the order of political reforms, thus the measures viewed comprehensively will enable our people to discern the inherent limitations of the establishment system juxtaposed with our egalitarian scale of values.

Therefore, we utilize the Ten Point Platform to instill political education that heightens the political consciousness of New Afrikan (Black) people to an understanding that this social order is fully incapable of serving the political, economic and social interests of our people.

We prefer the egalitarian method. “Egalitarianism is people’s government, and people’s government and economics is socialism, dialectical and materialist,” wrote George Lester Jackson.

Commemorating Weusi Agosti, Black August

Weusi Agosti commences at 12:00 midnight on July 31, 2017, and ends at 12:00 midnight on Aug. 31, 2017.

  1. Fasting: We will hold a daily fast on each of the 31 days of Weusi Agosti. On non-FLEA days, we break fast at sundown. We hold a 24-hour vigil and fast on each of the designated FLEA days, the first, seventh, 13th and 21st, from midnight to midnight. Additionally, the amount of liquid we are allowed to consume during the 24-hour FLEA day fasting period is limited to six cups totals, depending on your personal preference. On non-FLEA days, we will not exceed a total of four cups of liquid, pursuant to your personal preference, prior to our breaking of fast at sundown. Exceptions to the foregoing may be established based on individual medical needs and/or conditions.
  2. Physical fitness is a must: We will perform a physical exercise routine on each of the 31 days of Weusi Agosti. On each of the designated FLEA days, we will conduct a physical exercise routine every six hours commencing at 12 midnight, 6 a.m., 12 noon and 6 p.m., in addition to our 24-hour FLEA day fast and vigil. Our physical exercise routines commence at 6 a.m. daily on non-FLEA days. BA participants are encouraged to refer to the BAM calendar attached to the written BA program as arranged by your BA coordinator, to properly identify the particular exercise routine to be conducted on each day.
  3. Each year and month of Weusi Agosti we refrain from attending the prison store, conducive to consistency with our socialist economic principles and collective work and responsibility, whereby we rely and depend upon each other in the development and implementation of programs and measures designed to take care of the needs of our own.
  4. Political education: “The Black community is beset and filled with many subjective ideas. The education system of United States imperialism and the consistent anti-communist hysteria prevailing in the United States do not foster but seek to destroy the study of revolutionary thought and the development of political education,” wrote James Forman in “Rock Bottom” in 1967.

This Weusi Agosti 2017, let your political education cadres and/or klasses incorporate and be structured around defining and providing answers to each of the following questions:

What is Black August?

How did the concept Black August originate?

What is the significance of Black August to the Black community?

What are the politics of Black August?

How is Black August viewed as a viable social concept?

How does the concept Black August seek to motivate and guide people?

Why should people support Black August?

What is Black August Resistance?

Who is George Lester Jackson?

Who is W.L. Nolan?

Who is Manchild Jonathan P. Jackson?

Who is William Christmas?

Who is Jeffrey “Joka Khatari” Gaulden?

Who is Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell?

My people, it’s understood that undertaking such an ambitious program necessarily implies a quantitative and qualitative transformation has occurred. For this Weusi Agosti 2017, we are all required to strive to reach definite levels of mental, physical and spiritual development, in accordance with the range of each of our potential abilities.

Eternal Black August Resistance!

Send our brother some love and light: Kamau M. Askari (Ralph A. Taylor), D-03780, CSP Solano, P.O. Box 4000, Vacaville CA 95696-4000. Askari is part of the New Afrikan (Black) Family Unity and Advancement Foundation (NABFUAF) and the High Desert State Prison (HDSP) NCTT.