“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”Frederick Douglass, 1857
BECAUSE RESISTING RACIAL OPPRESSION IS IMPORTANT!!
Peace to you, Relatives & Comrades! Welcome to the BLACK AUGUST SOLIDARITY CYPHER! We behind the wall thank you for joining us as we come together to recognize our elders and elevate the movement to the next level.
We know that Social Justice can only be approached by dismantling the status quo — and it won’t be easy. But we believe the power of LOVE & SOLIDARITY will overcome oppression, so what better way to do our part than to BREAK WALLS, TEAR DOWN FENCES & LEARN TOGETHER?
Black August is an important time for many people in prison & our supporters on the outside. This year we wanted to share the tradition with as many folks as possible, so with some collective creativity, this site was born!
WE HAVE HEROES IN THE STRUGGLE!!
What is Black August?
Every year during August we recognize those who fought & sacrificed in the struggle for Black Liberation. Those freedom fighters & political prisoners who chose to resist racial oppression charted a path, and left legacies, which should never be forgotten.
This tradition began in 1979 in San Quentin state prison as a commemoration of the deaths of Jonathan P. Jackson (died 08.07.1970), and his brother George L. Jackson (died 08.21.1971). These two brothers laid down their lives for their people, yet they are often overlooked when Black Histories are told. So Black August is not another Black History Month. It is more like a Histories of Black Resistance Month. It’s a time of fasting, strengthening ourselves and studying.
We can do these things individually (and many do because of forced isolation, or solitary confinement). But in the spirit of comradeship, solidarity and communalism, we encourage doing one, or all of them, with another person, or group of people and acknowledge the interconnectedness of our struggles.
LET’S REMEMBER THEM WITH GRATITUDE!!
Fasting, Exercise, and Political Education
“You cannot claim equality with a person who provides your daily meals.”Akan Proverb
Many people use fasting as a means to lose weight. But in this time, ours is preparation and not vanity. We fast to practice discipline & how to thrive in a state of deprivation. By learning how to function in this state, we become unbreakable. Those without self-discipline will eventually be disciplined by someone else. Ptahhotep once said, “He who is ruled by his appetite belongs to the enemy.”
With resistance comes sacrifice. And we preempt our oppressor by sacrificing the satisfaction of our appetites (which the oppressor frequently uses to try to oppress us). Customarily, in prison we choose a fast from sunrise to sunset. Some abstain from food, water, TV, music and other comforts. Some choose a twelve hour fast, say from 7am-7pm. Some choose to eat just once per day. The dates of August 7th and August 21st hold special importance and are recognized by extending the fast. Consider what fasting commitment you want to make and proceed with a warrior’s spirit!
LET’S LEARN TOGETHER!!
“The one nearest the enemy, in pursuit, is the real leader.– Ganda Proverb
We exercise to strengthen our bodies in coordination with our comrades. It promotes health and solidarity. It will make no difference when we gain our liberation if we are not fit enough to enjoy it – or defend it. Develop a workout program with a partner, or a group, and attack it with a warrior’s spirit!
Here are some workout routines shared by comrades on the inside: https://blackaugustsolidaritycypher.wordpress.com/2022/07/25/workouts-from-the-inside-2/
WE BENEFIT FROM THE SACRIFICES OF THOSE WHO PRECEDE US!!
“An educator in a state of oppression is either a revolutionary or himself an oppressor.”– Lerone Bennet Jr.
We have been brainwashed. We are programmed to regurgitate the racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and xenophobic ideologies that keep us divided and oppressed. In order to decolonize and reclaim our minds, we must free them by consuming the necessary information (tools) needed for resistance. We must grow intellectually. We must know the depths of that which harms us so that we do not replicate that which we seek to free ourselves from.
This is why political education is important. We welcome you once again as we elevate our collective consciousness. Let us push forward together in the spirit of the ancestors who began the journey so long ago.
THEY MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN!!