Tags Black August
Tag: Black August
As minister of justice, my message to all the members of the NABPP-PC is long live the Panther! Empower yourselves: Don’t fear freedom. To clear our minds, I propose that we eat one meal a day throughout the month of August – and fast completely on Aug. 7 in honor of Jonathan Jackson, again on Aug. 21 in honor of George Jackson and again on Aug. 31 in honor of Hasan Shakur and all other true revolutionary comrades who have fallen in the struggle.
I’m writing to update you on the continuing attempt to deny us Afrikan descendants here at Pelican Bay solitary confinement SHU control units the exercise of the human birthright to read, write, study, learn and celebrate our African heritage, history and culture.
Marilyn Buck was a former political prisoner and prisoner of war. Along with Mutulu Shakur, she was responsible for the liberation of Assata Shakur from prison in 1979. She later went underground and spent 25 years in prison. She was released July 15, 2010. Then suddenly, only 19 days later, she was gone.
Today, free speech inside the penitentiary is increasingly becoming a scant luxury, not the universally recognized right abstracted by federal judges. As early as March 2008, the San Francisco Bay View began receiving dispatches from California prisoners alerting the newspaper that prisoners in possession of the newspaper were being charged with gang affiliation and having their subscriptions withheld.
Jalil Muntaqim, one of the longest held political prisoners in the U.S., was once again denied parole on Nov. 18, 2009. Visit FreeJalil.com to learn more about this extraordinary, heroic brother, who traded a minor plea for the freedom from all charges of four of his San Francisco 8 comrades. Support must grow so that his next parole date, in June 2010, is successful and he is free to return to the loving arms of his family and to continue to teach and show us how to be our own liberators.
The Fox News cable channel crew has discovered a new all-purpose Black boogey-man to rile latent racial animosity in America: Mumia Abu-Jamal, the internationally acclaimed death row journalist. Abu-Jamal is now a regular reference in the weapons of mass deception arsenal employed by Fox and its friends to demonize their enemies de jour.
This month Muslims around the world are observing Ramadan, which is compared in the Black revolutionary tradition to how Black August is celebrated in the prisons, where people fast during the day, exercise more, study more and recommit themselves to their belief system. Under this section I am submitting two stories that look at the faith of young Black Orthodox Muslims in the Bay Area, one from a male perspective and one from a female perspective.
The decision by the San Francisco Bay View to include coverage of “Black August” in its August 2009 edition was courageous and correct both from a legal and historical perspective. To have refrained from publishing its own editorial and articles from others on this subject would most certainly have strengthened the hand of reactionary state actors who have used prior restraint to curb “dangerous” speech since the days of British colonial rule.
In many ways, Black August, at least in the West, begins in Haiti. It is the Blackest August possible — revolution and resultant liberation from bondage. From its earliest days, Haiti was declared an asylum for escaped slaves, and a place of refuge for any person of African or American Indian descent.
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.”
Here at the Bay View, we’ve been debating how to best commemorate Black August and celebrate George Jackson this year. Prisoners around the country often ask us for stories about them, and we have more stories than space to publish them.
Black August begins with a campaign for the acquittal of Francisco Torres, the only member of the San Francisco 8 still charged. Go to www.freethesf8.org for messages to phone or fax to Attorney General Jerry Brown, urging him to drop the charges. Cisco’s hearing is Aug. 10 if the charges aren’t dropped.
What was amazing about the hearing Monday was the prosecution’s admission that it didn’t have enough evidence to convict these men. As attorney Daro Inouye said of Jalil Muntaqim, who pled no contest to the prosecution’s charge of conspiracy, his client picked up a loaded grenade to save his brothers, his friends, his fellow defendants, and he didn’t plead guilty. That language did not pass his lips.