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mumia abul jamal on black august
From: Sis. Kiilu Nyasha
George Jackson, born Sept. 23, 1941, was not quite 30 when he was murdered at San Quentin Aug. 21, 1971, yet his writings from prison had built a large and passionate following. Inside St. Augustine’s Church in West Oakland on the day of his Revolutionary Memorial Service, the first Black August event, were 200 Black Panthers in full uniform, while 8,000 people listened outside, perched on rooftops, hanging from telephone poles and filling the streets. As George’s body was brought out, the people raised their fists in the air and chanted, “Long Live George Jackson.”
by Mumia Abu-Jamal
Written Aug. 4, 1993
“George Jackson was my hero. He set a standard for prisoners, political prisoners, for people. He showed the love, the strength, the revolutionary fervor that’s characteristic of any soldier for the people. He inspired prisoners, whom I later encountered, to put his ideas into practice. And so his spirit became a living thing.” – from the eulogy by Huey P. Newton, former Minister of Defense, Black Panther Party, at the Revolutionary Memorial Service for George Jackson, 1971
August, in both historic and contemporary African American history, is a month of meaning.
It is a month of repression:
- August 1619 – The first group of Black laborers, called indentured servants, landed at Jamestown, Virginia.
- Aug. 25, 1967 – Classified FBI memos went out to all bureaus nationwide with plans to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize” Black Liberation Movement groups.
- August 1968 – The Newark, New Jersey, Black Panther Party office was firebombed.
- Aug. 25, 1968 – Los Angeles BPP members Steve Bartholomew, Robert Lawrence and Tommy Lewis were murdered by the LAPD at a gas station.
- Aug. 15, 1969 – Sylvester Bell, San Diego BPP, was murdered by the US organization.
- Aug. 21, 1971 – BPP Field Marshall George L. Jackson was assassinated at San Quentin Prison, California. Three guards and two inmate turncoats were killed, three wounded.
August is also a month of radical resistance:
- Aug. 22, 1831 – Nat Turner’s rebellion rocked Southampton County, Virginia, and the entire South when slaves rose up and slew their white masters.
- Aug. 30, 1856 – John Brown led an anti-slavery raid on a group of Missourians at Osawatomie, Kansas.
- Aug. 7, 1970 – Jonathan Jackson, younger brother of Field Marshal George, raided the Marin County Courthouse in California, arming and freeing three Black prisoners, taking the judge, prosecutor and several jurors hostage. All, except one prisoner, were killed by police fire that perforated the escape vehicle. Jon was 17.
And in an instance of resistance and repression:
- Aug. 8, 1978 – After a 15-month armed police standoff with the Philadelphia-based naturalist MOVE Organization, the police raided MOVE, killing one of their own in police crossfire, and charging nine MOVE people with murder. The MOVE 9, in prisons across Pennsylvania, are serving up to 100 years each.
August – a month 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.
August saw slaves and the grandsons of slaves strike out for their God-given right to freedom, as well as the awesome price, the ultimate price always paid by those who would dare oppose the slave master’s will.
Like their spiritual grandfather, the blessed rebel Nat Turner, those who opposed Massa in this land of un-freedom met murder by the state: George and Jonathan Jackson, James McClain, William Christmas, Bobby Hutton, Steve Bartholomew, Robert Lawrence, Tommy Lewis, Sylvester Bell – all suffered the fate of Nat Turner, of the slave daring to fight the slave master for his freedom.
© Copyright 2009 Mumia Abu-Jamal. Read Mumia’s brand new book, “Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A.,” available from City Lights Publishing, www.citylights.com or [IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/cb_transparent_l.gif[/IMG][IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/famfamfam/us.gif[/IMG][IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/space.gif[/IMG][IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/space.gif[/IMG][IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/arrow.gif[/IMG][IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/space.gif[/IMG][IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/space.gif[/IMG][IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/space.gif[/IMG][IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/space.gif[/IMG][IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/space.gif[/IMG][IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/space.gif[/IMG][IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/space.gif[/IMG](415) 362-8193[IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/cb_transparent_r.gif[/IMG]. Keep updated at www.freemumia.com. For Mumia’s commentaries, visitwww.prisonradio.org. For recent interviews with Mumia, visit www.blockreportradio.com. Encourage the media to publish and broadcast Mumia’s commentaries and interviews. Send our brotha some love and light at: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, SCI-Greene, 175 Progress Dr., Waynesburg PA 15370.
Black August - 2004
by Mumia Abu-Jamal
“Among these large bodies, the little community of Haiti, anchored in the
Caribbean Sea, has had her mission in the world, a mission which the world had
much need to learn. She has taught the world the danger of slavery and the value
of liberty. In this respect, she has been the greatest of all our modern
teachers.” - Hon. Frederick Douglass, former U.S. Minister to Haiti, Lecture on
Haiti, Jan. 2, 1893
It was a sweaty, steaming night in August when a group of African captives
gathered in the forests of Marne Rouge, in Le Cap, San Domingue. It was August
Among these men was a Voodoo priest, Papaloi Boukman, who preached to his
brethren about the need for revolution against the cruel slave drivers and
torturers who made the lives of the African captives a living hell. His words,
spoken in the common tongue of Creole, would echo down the annals of history and
cannot fail but move us today, 213 years later:
“The god who created the sun which gives us light, who rouses the waves and
rules the storm, though hidden in the clouds, he watches us. He sees all that
the white man does. The god of the white man inspires him with crime, but our
god calls upon us to do good works. Our god, who is good to us, orders us to
revenge our wrongs. He will direct our arms and aid us. Throw away the symbol of
the god of the whites who has so often caused us to weep and listen to the voice
of liberty, which speaks in the hearts of us all.”
The Rebellion of August 1791 would eventually ripen into the full-fledged
Haitian Revolution, lead to the liberation of the African Haitian people, to the
establishment of the Haiti Republic, and the end of the dreams of Napoleon for a
French-American Empire in the West.
Two centuries before the Revolution, when the island was called Santo Domingo by
the Spanish Empire, historian Antonio de Herrera would say of the place, “There
are so many Negroes in this island, as a result of the sugar factories, that the
land seems an effigy or an image of Ethiopia itself” (from Paul Farmer, “The
Uses of Haiti,” Monroe, Me.: Common Courage Press, 1994, p. 61).
Haiti was the principal source of wealth for the French bourgeoisie. In the
decade before the Boukman Rebellion, an estimated 29,000 African captives were
imported to the island annually.
Conditions were so brutal, and the work was so back-breaking, that the average
African survived only seven years in the horrific sugar factories.
In 1804, Haiti declared Independence, after defeating what was the most powerful
army of the day: the Grand Army of France.
Haiti’s Founding Father Jean-Jacques Dessalines, at the Haitian Declaration of
Independence, proclaimed, “I have given the French cannibals blood for blood. I
have avenged America.”
With their liberation, Haitians changed history, for among their
a) It was the first independent nation in Latin America;
b) It became the second independent nation in the Western hemisphere;
c) It was the first Black republic in the modern world;
d) It was the only incidence in world history of an enslaved people breaking
their chains and defeating a powerful colonial force using military might.
What did “independence” bring? It brought the enmity and anger of the Americans,
who refused to recognize their Southern neighbor for 58 years. In the words of
South Carolina Sen. Robert Hayne, the reasons for U.S. non-recognition were
clear: “Our policy with regard to Hayti is plain. We never can acknowledge her
independence ... The peace and safety of a large portion of our Union forbids us
even to discuss .” - Farmer, p. 79
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. For
many years, Haiti tried to pass the torch of liberty to all of her neighbors,
providing support for Simon Bolivar in his nationalist movements against Spain.
Indeed, 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.
On Jan. 1, 1804, President Dessalines would proclaim: “Never again shall
colonist or European set foot on this soil as master or landowner. This shall
henceforward be the foundation of our Constitution.”
It would be U.S., not European, imperialism that would consign the Haitian
people to the cruel reign of dictators. The U.S. would occupy Haiti and impose
is own rules and dictates. After their long and hated occupation, Haitian
anthropologist Ralph Trouillot would say, “(It) improved nothing and complicated
Yet, that imperial occupation does not wipe out the historical accomplishments
During the darkest nights of American bondage, millions of Africans, in America,
in Brazil, in Cuba, and beyond, could look to Haiti, and dream.
Taken From: http://www.sfbayvie w.com/081804/ soledadbrother08 1804.shtml
Last edited by kweku, afro olmec; 08-03-2009 at 01:40 AM.
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