We owe it to our ancestors and our incarcerated comrades to escalate the struggle against the white settler state and its imperial capitalist order.
“Some of our incarcerated comrades have moved into their fifth decade shackled as the longest serving political prisoners on the face of the Earth.”
Each August since 1979, the surviving sectors of the Black Liberation Movement, our supporters, and the new entrants into the ranks of resistors to the ongoing oppression against the African/Black masses and colonized peoples of this territory now called the United States and its settler state, have paid homage to our fallen freedom fighters and those incarcerated for decades in the cages of this country.
The struggle for African/Black freedom in the United States began with the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to this territory in 1619. The tradition of resistance to the settler state is different from the tradition celebrated by the elites of this country in response to the death of U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). Our positionality, first as an enslaved people and after the formal period of slavery as a nationally oppressed people, had forged for us a different interpretation of U.S. history and our relationship to this state.
For the Black Liberation Movement, reconciliation with the settler state toward a “more perfect union” was not only an impossibility because white-supremacist settler power has been crystalized into the state. It also would have been an unprincipled betrayal of our ancestors, who had resisted the assaults on our collective dignity and struggled to destroy the oppressive system—and had no plans to integrate with it.
“Reconciliation with the settler state would have been an unprincipled betrayal of our ancestors.”
That struggle intensified in the 1960s and ‘70s, resulting in a vicious counter attack from U.S. state authorities that involved murder, incarcerations, organizational disruption, and an ideological and cultural program to create an “American” out of the rebellious Africans who had earned global prestige for rising up in over 350 cities and creating a revolutionary movement.
Black August was created to not only honor and commemorate those who fought for our human rights, national liberation and self-determination, such as Jonathan and George Jackson, W.L. Nolan, and William Christmas. It is meant to pay homage to all of our revolutionary ancestors and those still ensnared by the state.
A central element of Black August is to call attention to our freedom fighters still held captive as political prisoners and Prisoners of War. Some have moved into their fifth decade shackled as the longest serving political prisoners on the face of the Earth.
This past weekend, Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) members unanimously decided to commit to raising awareness about our imprisoned fighters.
The theme of Black August is to “study, fast, train, fight.” That is what the members of BAP intend to do this month and every month until we rid the Earth of the malignant threat to all of humanity represented by the Pan-European, White-supremacist, colonial/capitalist patriarchy.