Agosti Weusi (Black August): Setting that example

Black-August-Memorial-1400x1400, Agosti Weusi (Black August): Setting that example, Culture Currents
Black August Memorial. – Art: Black August Organizing Committee

by Maarifa (Yule Anayemeza Moto)

We recognize, commend and respect those of you who are setting a great example as people of the New Afrikan Nation, especially those of you who wholeheartedly take part in the memorial and commemoration month of Black August (Agosti Weusi), which is a very meaningful, honorable and profound tradition (founded 1979). This is a major contribution to our movement, considering that our revolutionist ancestors and comrades made the supreme sacrifice amid more violent and oppressive conditions of social control and racism to pave the way for us who stand here today, just as we will pave the way for the next generation.

As carriers of the torch, we are each taking the initiative to maintain an active effort to enhance and broaden our self-consciousness and to make an advancement toward the excellence of quantitative and qualitative change and development as proud representatives of the New Afrikan Nation. As Frantz Fanon once intimated, “Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it.”

Maarifa, Agosti Weusi (Black August): Setting that example, Culture Currents
Maarifa is a Bay Area native, raised in Oakland, Calif. He is currently in the process of completing several writings under the main title and series called “Residues of Class Struggles,” a title that implies the natural laws of cause and effect, dealing with sociological aspects that mainly pertain to the Black underclass of Amerika’s sociohistorical and present experience here in the U.S. He acquired a taste for academic writing while serving a 10-year sentence in California state prisons. Since his release in 2020, he has continued to work toward the attainment of knowledge necessary to enhance his overall social consciousness.

The direction in which we choose to pivot is vitally important. In addition to that, the skill of our pivot will depend on our training, experience and range of knowledge and intelligence. Drawing from our historical experience and taking heed to the lessons of history will relatively enhance our ability to understand the logical interconnection of history and the present and use that light to walk sure-footed through the future.

Throughout the course and within the context of our immediate struggle, attaining and absorbing knowledge and intelligence pertaining to the material factors in our environment will facilitate the enhancement of our conscious capacity; that is, to put it rather concisely, the extent of one’s social awareness and problem-solving abilities and proactive approach to solving these social problems will result in positive outcomes.

In this sense, meaning the intelligent processing of information and repertoire of adequate responses that is necessary to achieve desired ends, we are driven by a positive sense of purpose. This sense of purpose can only stem from a positive self-regard, respect and love of heritage – a reverence accepted through the homage paid to our ancestors, reflecting a high esteem for self-appreciation and New Afrikan nationhood and collective class-consciousness – meaning that New Afrikan and Afrikan people aspire to work collectively in an efficient way towards the achievement of certain aims and goals that are truly in the interest of our people.

Looking into the past enables us to better understand how the present came into being but as Frantz Fanon believed, “could in no way be a guide in the actual state of things.” So, it is a duty that has been ascribed to each member of this generation to carry out its mission, to discover exactly what that mission is.

It’s safe to assume that many of us who are of the Black underclass – after having burgeoned into a state of revolutionary consciousness – are familiar with the beginning stages of that transformation. The process of negating the “old self,” of undergoing that internal struggle within oneself to eliminate and eradicate “old-style tendencies” that is, the unprogressive patterns of behavior, backward thinking and values that may have led many of us to become entangled within the prison web in the first place.

In a perfect world – a utopian society (literally a place that doesn’t exist) – a decadent and ill-natured mentality would also be non-existent. Therefore, when viewing our situation from a historically psychosocial context, we see that infection by a “malignant society” is a direct consequence of being oriented, that is, nurtured, into a crime-generative and malignant society. 

At a time when Black unity was at its strongest and highest peak during the Black Power revolutionary movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s, heroin was dropped into the Black community like a chemical bomb.

For many of us who were ill-nurtured by these symbolic social impairments of environmental influences, a life of crime and deviance, no matter how illogical or ineffective as a viable means of economic mobility, had become normal and uniformly socially accepted within our subculture as a standard and preferable way of life.

Sometimes it can be frustrating to think about how throughout the various time periods in recent history, there has always been some type of opposing force and/or fettering factor that has caused the power to wane and destabilized large percentages of the Black population. For instance, consider the following example:

At a time when Black unity was at its strongest and highest peak during the Black Power revolutionary movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s, heroin was dropped into the Black community like a chemical bomb. Typical of any weapon of mass destruction, the effect was devastating. New Afrikan communities across the nation who were already burdened with the struggle of having to regroup from centuries of recurring and altered forms of systemic oppression at the downtrodden end of an asymmetrical socioeconomic1 interrelation between them and their counterparts of other ethnicities, now faced an additional major challenge: the drug plague.

The decadence that ensued after this rampant plague of drug addiction bred multitudes of disheveled lumpenproletariat men and women and lumpen class opportunists who degenerately sought to capitalize off the underground ghetto market. These markets presented immediate profit rewards – fast money – and incentives among those whose aspirations were rigid and delimited as consequential of a people mostly bereft of generational wealth and significant power bases and resources2. The negative ramifications had a socially destabilizing and debilitating effect on the former and the latter in the end, which only added to the New Afrikan’s critical cultural and economic impairment.

A second wave of chemical destruction hit most densely populated areas of impoverished Blacks in the ‘80s in the form of crack.

What it did do was subvert the rising tide of revolutionary-conscious New Afrikans and created more opportunistic exploitation of imperialist-type organizations whose power-holding interest was dependent on the dis-organization and dependency of the downtrodden masses and the legitimization and irrationally-rationalized proliferation of the Prison Industrial Complex; the implementation of stringent drug, gun and gang-enhancement laws, while the ghetto or predominantly non-white areas served as a purveyor of men and women affected, pre-destined for the penitentiary or premature death.

A second wave of chemical destruction hit most densely populated areas of impoverished Blacks in the ‘80s in the form of crack. Throughout the decades since, our people have been recovering from psychosocial and physiological turmoil. The ramifications were both socially and economically degenerating to the socioeconomic development of New Afrikan people across the nation, having the most ruinous and gravest effect on our tribes living on the end of despair and disparity as have-nots.

Nevertheless, there were those of us whose families and peers prevailed over these conditions. It is reason to believe that these were those who possessed consciousness enough to react adequately to the forces of their internal (as in, inner self) and external environment. They understood the reality of their existence, and instead of allowing themselves to become subdued or subjected to intersubjective3 conditions of defeatism and retreatism, they strove to operate and function in a manner that would enable them to fulfill their highest potential against all odds.

However, a large percentage of this population was swallowed up and made casualties in this socially engineered war on the underclass revolution during a state of vulnerability in desperation. Some, who had gotten caught amid the turbulence, “groping through the dark,” found their way to a wakeful state of consciousness that was adequate for survival and, like a fox, they were able to discern and circumvent the subtle traps devised by the enemy. These were those who had restored dignity, developed courage and reclaimed their souls, and although the veiled enemy’s social structure and system seemed to be omnipotent and perhaps too inextricable to understand and far too powerful to overcome, did not relent but stood firm and persevered in the face of their nemesis, resolving through it all.

Finally, everything in life, especially social conditions, are impermanent and constantly changing for better or worse. Thus, every stage of struggle comes with its own set of unique challenges. So, it is our duty to stay vigilant of these changes and circumstances and to attain and maintain the instrumental and operational conscious capacity necessary to triumph over these rising obstacles. Asè Ogun Ota! (Victory over my enemies).

We should be compassionate and understand that the love for the people and, more imperatively, the posterity must be boundless, with our every thought and action being guided by the Afrocentric revolutionary school-of-thought, principles, philosophy, worldview and way of life – practices that are in the best interest of New Afrikan people.

Black August Memorial month

Active service is needed among our people. The type of reinforcement that could be produced through the tradition of Black August, which is only one component of the Cultural Revolution, will serve as a type of symbolic cultural adornment.

Black August Memorial month is a time to partake in the commemoration of our ancestors and fallen comrades who set out to fulfill their mission as revolutionaries and who martyred their lives in the fight for liberation and in the service of the people within and beyond the prison walls here in Amerika and across the Afrikan diaspora.

When our revolutionist Brothers and Sisters put their lives on the line for their people, the only platform they pushed was All Power to the People!

Some people may hold the incorrect notion that Black August is a tradition exclusive only to Blacks who identify with the sociohistorical, political and cultural concept of the New Afrikan nationality, given that the Afrikan people of America are pulled in many directions toward various identities and attitudes due to the identity-effacing effect that had been induced by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (slavery), a multicultural setting and, in many cases, a multi-race lineage (“double-consciousness”4) in addition to the atomic subcultural tribes of New Afrikans across the nation. But that is a divisive idea that only serves to perpetuate disunity and micro-factionalism5 among New Afrikans.

When our revolutionist Brothers and Sisters put their lives on the line for their people, they were not concerned with whether this or that person was from the East Coast or the West Coast, or this hood or that hood. The only platform they pushed was All Power to the People! And that included all of our Black asses!

If you think about it, what do Afrikans of the world have that establishes us as an official world power and global ethnic tribe beside a mere classification of race? Nothing. Black August is an indispensable tradition, in conjunction with other essential components of Pan-Africanism, that was found for all Afrikans of the world, nationally and across the diaspora, something that we can call our own.

Founded for us, Black August Memorial is also symbolic of self-sacrifice and conducive to enhancing one’s consciousness and self-discipline. Participants are encouraged to take part in the following activities:

1) Fast from dawn to sunset throughout the entire month of August.

2) Refrain from indulging in pernicious and overwhelmingly popular products, desires and tastes, such as wines, liquors, cigarettes, drugs, junk foods, excessive eating, expensive and promiscuous clothing and other consumer items and social activities that may be unhealthy and economically self-defeating consumer addictions.

3) Use spare time and energy towards the development and maintenance of constructive activities, such as studying two-to-three hours per day and regular physical exercise.

4) Come together with family and friends at least once a week to share ideas and ways in which we can contribute towards the betterment of our households and community conditions.

5) Work on other creative and innovative ways to establish climates of excellence, inspire high aspirations of purpose that will gear us toward the accomplishment of short-, mid- and long-term goals.

6) Break fast on Sept. 1 with a feast and to share what we’ve learned with family and friends.

Black August FLEA days (optional): 24-hour fasting from 12:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. and moderate exercising every six hours on the days of the 1st, 7th, 13th and 21st. This applies to Black August Resistance.

I will conclude this with a final word from Olayinka Babatunde Ogunshina Adewuyi:

“Do men believe that concrete results can be achieved without sacrifice?! The answer is no. Sacrifice is the foundation and essence of life, progress, fulfillment, love and success. Where there is no sacrifice, life becomes an unbearable, purposeless, unsatisfying and worthless round of meaningless activity. 

“Sacrifice means a total and absolute dedication to meaningful steps that take us from the realm of materialistic comfort to the realm of divine fulfillment and realization. Sacrifice means the willingness to move out of our comfort zone of ease and experience temporary discomfort associated with making a new diligent and disciplined effort to achieve certain objectives in life, be they spiritual, physical or otherwise.

“The discomfort is due to our habit of long having lived an undisciplined and unregulated life. When we step out of this kind of living to embrace the life of the divine order or pattern, it feels like an inconvenience or a great sacrifice. Just like a person who wants a strong body and good health gives up unhealthy foods and dedicates themselves to exercise, which at the beginning seems difficult and undesirable, but through consistency and determination the new habit and behavior becomes easy and second nature.

“In like manner, we experience when we move from a self-serving materialistic life to a self-giving spiritual life that sacrifice takes various forms. Some are steps or advice to quit certain habits or give up evil actions through the exercise of a firm and strong mental and emotional state to prosper in life or to achieve or attain a great purpose or positive result.” – “IFA: The Book of Wisdom.” Asé.

Can’t stop, Won’t stop

This is a tribute to Fela, Mata Musa, Baba Shaka At-Thinnin and Paul (PR) Redd aka Mume by Maarifa, who is formerly incarcerated and can be reached at or on Instagram: maarifa_nguvu.


1 Relating to or concerned with the interaction of social and economic factors (New Oxford American Dictionary).

2 “For the most part, the socio-economic provisions within the subculture are maintained by the ‘illegitimate capitalist’ activity of the lumpenproletariat. In accordance with their aspirations to fulfill the social values of the bourgeoisie, they employ business acumen in criminal activity for subsistence and profit. As they seek material wealth and social status of the bourgeoisie within the confines of the subculture, they are in many cases politically reactionary, unconcerned with anything other than personal survival and individual gain. It is only when the lumpenproletariat are educated and become politically aware of their socio-economic condition that the possibility exists for them to become staunch supporters of the revolution, recognizing their dire standard of living is based wholly on the system of oppression they are desperately trying to emulate.” – Jalil Muntaqim, “We Are Our Own Liberators”

3 Existing between conscious minds; shared by more than one conscious mind (New Oxford American Dictionary). In the context of this discussion, “intersubjective” refers to an emotion, such as fear of repression by racist U.S imperialists that is and was commonly shared among many New Afrikan people of the world.

4 Developed by W.E.B du Bois, the theory of double consciousness describes the individual sensation of feeling as though your identity is divided into several parts, making it difficult or impossible to have one unified identity within the context of race relations in the united states. 

5 A variation of individualism, though more egotistic and typically averse to collective work and responsibility and organized discipline.