by Mama Ayanna Mashama
In the month Khatari's transition, to honor him and to honor these fallen soldiers and the revolutionary vision and principles they embodied, brothers throughout the prison camps of California united together to continue their revolutionary work. They shaved their heads, wore black arm bands and in unity with the Black Muslim prisoners during Ramadan, fasted from Sunrise to Sunset.
Black August is a month of education, resistance and is of great commemorative significance for the Afrikan peoples of the Diaspora, particularly those in the U.S. and especially the California prison isolation units, where the commemorative tradition originated. Black August , as noted by one our most dedicated New Afrikan Freedom Fighters, Mumia Abu-Jamal," is a month of divine 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".
To observe and commemorate Black August each individual is encouraged to:
Fast for a suggested prolonged period or if really disciplined drink only water from sunrise until after sunset from the 1st until the 31st (Suggested hours are 8am to 6pm);
Eat only one meal a day after sunset; On days called flea days, (1st, 7th, 13th and 21st), fast 24 hours until next sunset.
*Work out an exercise routine for each day either individually or in groups.
*Do not use any drugs, smoke or ingest mind altering herbs or alcoholic beverages during the entire month.
*Do not go to any corporate store for anything other than medical or health related items.
*Do not watch TV or listen to radio from sunrise to sunset
Do not watch corporate television or movies at all
*Do not patronize fast food or commercial eating establishments or vendors.
*Eat healthy, natural and nutritious foods, beverages and meals.
*Observe Black August through educational study groups, educational events, edutainment and commemorations.
*Contribute monies made from Black August events to men, women and youth in prison or prisoner legal funds
*Educate your family, community and loved ones about what is happening to our people in prisons.
*Visit and/or write someone in prison or jail. It is suggested to also write and support our political prisoners and prisoners of consciousness (this practice should be continued all year)
Black August fasting is a New Afrikan tradition begun by the brothers inside that serves as a constant reminder of the sacrafices made and the conditions our people have faced and still face. Fasting mentally disciplines us to control urges and the physical craving for food; fasting helps us endure physical pain and discomfort. It is a reminder of what our Ancestars endured working as captives in the fields of the colonizers. Ultimately physical strength can be gained from fasting if a regular exercise program is developed and continued beyond August. Also fasting increases one's abilities to break other addictions, like excessive cursing, and watching television. Fasting is uncomfortable at times, but it helps to remember all those who have come and gone before us.
In alliance with the BAOC, members of the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM) began practicing and spreading Black August during this period. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) inherited knowledge and practice of Black August from its parent organization, the New Afrikan People's Organization (NAPO). MXGM began introducing the Hip-Hop "generation" to Black August in the late 1990's after being inspired by the Cuban based New Afrikan political exile Nehanda Abiodun to start "Black August Hip Hop" benefit concerts to raise awareness about our captured and exiled Freedom Fighters, our Political Prisoners, Prisoners of War, and Political Exiles like Hugo Pinell, Ruchel Magee, Mutulu Shakur, Sundiata Acoli, Sekou Odinga, the NY 3, the Move 9, Assata Shakur, and dozens more. The benefits from these political/cultural events go to the political prisoner's and their legal funds.
*The arrival of the first enslaved Afrikans to Jamestown, Virginia in August 1619;
*The start of the great Haitian revolution in August 1791;
*The call for a general strike by enslaved New Afrikans by Henry Highland Garnett on August 22nd1843;
*The initiation of the major network that conducted the Underground Railroad on August 2, 1850;
*Gabriel Prosser's rebellion of August 30th, 1800.;
*The rebellion of Nat "the Prophet" Turner on August 21st, 1831;
*On August 3, 1908, the Allensworth Township for former slaves was established in California;
*The March on Washington occurred in August of 1963;
*The Watts rebellion of August 1965;
*The defense of the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (PG – RNA) from a FBI assault in Mississippi on August 18, 1971;
*The attack of the MOVE family by Philadelphia police on August 8, 1978.
REMEMBER AND COMMEMORATE THE MONTH OF BLACK AUGUST.
BLACK AUGUST RESISTANCE!
Portions of this writing were taken from historical articles written by:
The Original Black August Organizing Committee
Baba Shaka At-Thinnin
Mama Ayanna Mashama
The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR A BREASTFEEDING MOTHER; HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE OR PRE-HYPERTENSIVE; IF YOU ARE A DIABETIC OR PRE-DIABETIC; IF YOU HAVE A SERIOUS ILLNESS THAT NECESSITATES THAT YOU TAKE MEDICATIONS; IF YOU HAVE ONGOING PROBLEMS WITH YOUR KIDNEYS, BLADDER OR LIVER, IF YOU ARE MENSTRUATING, DO NOT ABSTAIN FROM DRINKING WATER, DO NOT FAST FROM SUNRISE TO SUNSET! Instead, drink plenty of water, fruit and vegetable juices and eat small meals consisting of fresh fruit and vegetables and raw salads during the day so that you keep yourself nourished, sustained and healthy. Do not partake of a fast without medical supervision or consulting with your health practicitioner.
- [TheBlackList] !*BLACK AUGUST: The True History, Culture and Practice, nattyreb, 08/01/2012