So much of our work in this movement is about the future we want to build, but every August we take dedicated time to reflect on the Black people who have gotten us this far and the price they paid to white supremacy to do it. Join us this Black August as we uplift the struggles of our freedom fighters who continue to be held in cages, who have been killed by the state, who had to flee their homes to remain free. So many have sacrificed their freedom and lives in the struggle for Black liberation, and this month, we raise them up because we will never forget or leave them behind.
Black August was started in California prisons in the 1970s by Black freedom fighters to honor the lives and deaths of Black political prisoners killed by the state, bring awareness to harsh prison conditions, and highlight the radical tradition of Black resistance against anti-Black state violence and systemic oppression. Read more about the history of Black August here.
Take action now to support Black freedom fighters and the fight for liberation this Black August:
- Donate to support and sign petitions urging all charges be dropped against protestors and political prisoners (we’ll share some key ones throughout the month!).
- Email your reps and senators, and tell them to support these BREATHE bills to invest in Black communities, decriminalize substance abuse, and take a step toward ending the carceral state through decarceration:
- Follow our comrades of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, whose mission is to defend the human rights of our people and promote self-determination, as they celebrate Black August and work to free political prisoner Mutulu Shakur and others.
Building Black power in the United States is a long-term project—246 years to date. From enslaved Africans to today’s organizers in defense of Black lives, Black people have organized and challenged white supremacists’ conditions of domination and assimilation. In doing so, we advance our efforts toward liberation and self-determination for Black communities. But we lose folks along the way. Countless named and unnamed freedom fighters have been murdered, exiled, or unjustly persecuted by the state for their beliefs and disappeared into cages, never to be seen again. We honor their sacrifices, grieve their loss, and express deep gratitude for all their contributions.
Political imprisonment of Black freedom fighters is far from a thing of the past. Today, organizers and activists face increasing surveillance, harassment, and prosecution. In 2020, more than 300 activists across the country were targeted by the Trump administration and unjustly prosecuted with federal charges. Local policymakers have introduced more than 80 pieces of legislation that limit our ability to organize and build power for ourselves, putting the lives of organizers and activists in jeopardy. Additionally, many cities collude with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces to surveil and trap organizers and impose harsh, life-altering sentences.
Every Black August, we honor freedom fighters and political prisoners who put their lives on the line to defend the self-determination and political power of Black communities. We remain in service to the legacy of Black resistance, and we hold love and gratitude for all who have sacrificed for us so we may be more free.
In Love and Power,
Movement for Black Lives
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