Black August


Since 1979 “Black August” is honored every year to commemorate the fallen freedom fighters of the Black Liberation Movement, to call for the release of political prisoners in the United States, to condemn the oppressive conditions of U.S. prisons, and to emphasize the continued importance of the Black Liberation struggle.

Observers of Black August commit to higher levels of discipline throughout the month. This can include fasting from food and drink, frequent physical exercise and political study, and engagement in political struggle.

In short, the principles of Black August are:

“study, fast, train, fight.”

From Fast, Train Fight,: The Roots of Black August on


The month of August bursts at the seams with histories of Black resistance–from the Haitian Revolution to the Nat Turner Rebellion, from the Fugitive Slave Law Convention and the foundation of the Underground Railroad to the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, from the March on Washington to the Watts Uprising, from the births of Marcus Garvey, Russell Maroon Shoatz, and Fred Hampton to the deaths of W.E.B du Bois and George Jackson’s own younger brother Jonathan killed while attempting to free the Soledad Brothers from prison. 

We celebrate Black August, commemorating the anniversary of George Jackson’s death while understanding his life as a revolutionary in a long and unbroken line of resistance and sacrifice of Black people throughout history.

From "Celebrate Black August" on


George Jackson, political prisoner, author of Soledad Brother and Blood In My Eye and Black Panther party member.

On August 21, 1971, a prison guard assassinated George Jackson. The facts regarding his death are disputed. Prison authorities alleged that Jackson smuggled a gun into the prison and was killed while attempting to escape. On the other hand, literary giant James Baldwin wrote, “no Black person will ever believe that George Jackson died the way they tell us he did.”

In the words of George Jackson,

"Settle your quarrels, come together... Do what must be done, discover your humanity and your love of Revolution."

From Fast, Train Fight,: The Roots of Black August on

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