If you’re new to Black August, get ready for a quick history lesson. While February is the renowned month to celebrate BLACKNESS, the month of August holds so much power and “it goes to show that we stand on the shoulders of giants,” eloquently quoted by Monifa Bandele, one of the founders of the annual concert Black August. This concert is a celebration of Hip-Hop and our Freedom Fighters pushing the adamant message of freeing all the Political Prisoners and abolishing prisons. This year the concert has transitioned into a virtual benefit concert that will be hosted at www.blackaugusthiphop.com on Sunday, August 30th at 4EST 6CST 7EST PM starring Rapsody, M1 of Dead Prez, Sampa The Great, Big K.R.I.T., Nasty C, Audio Push, Jessica Care Moore, Locksmith, Sa-Roc, King Zayid, Riders Against The Storm, Ife Jie, Oswin Benjamin, Jahi PE 2.0, Subvert Labs, Kali Stoddard and headlining Yasiin Bey. This concert kicked off in 1998 and Monifa Bendele spoke to me about the history of it all below.
An Interview With Monifa Bandele discussing the history of Black August Concert PRESS PLAY
Earlier this week, in celebration of Black August, we held a discussion of the timeline of events on a Facebook. The purpose of Black August is to recharge the revolution, promote Black liberation while building a liberation vehicle for generations. George Jackson died on August 21, 1971 at San Quentin State Prison in California. A group of incarcerated people came together to commemorate the death of Jackson and other prisoners in what became know as Black August. During the month, we strive for self discipline through fasting throughout the end of the month. In the video below, we provide the timeline of events in August, which are as follows;
August 1619 – Jamestown
August 14, 1791 – The Haitian Revolution
August 1800 Gabriel Prosser Slave Rebellion
August 21, 1831 Nat Turner Rebellion
August 1850 The Underground Railroad
August 1963 March On Washington
August 1965 The Watts Rebellion
August 1971 Republic of New Afrika
August 8, 1978 The MOVE house attack and arrest by Philadelphia
August 1998 Black August Benefit Concert, a project of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM)
And then we have the births and rebirths in the month of August.
Marcus Garvey (August 17, 1887)
Maroon Russell Shoatz (August 23, 1943)
Fred Hampton (August 30, 1948)
Dr. Mutulu Shakur (August 8, 1950)
Emmett Till Ascension (August 28, 1955)
W.E.B. DuBois Ascension (August 27, 1963)
Chadwick Boseman Ascension (August 28, 2020)
The 2020 experience with Black August may not be in person but it will still be impactful just as it is every year. Our Political Prisons, Freedom Fighters, and martyrs of the Black Freedom Struggle lives on through us and within us. We must liberate ourselves through the education of the legacies that come before us and we must never stop educating ourselves on all the necessary stories of our past, which is where we find strength and know to progress forward.
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement in conjunction with The Movement For Black Lives and BlackAugustHipHop.Com presents the annual Black August 2020 Benefit Concert, prepare time be enlightened, empowered and inspired. Happy 49th Black August!