‘August is a month of meaning, of repression and radical resistance, 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.’
These are the words of the revolutionary, thinker, writer and former Black Panther member, *Baba Mumia Abu Jamal*, who has been behind bars in the United States of AmeriKKKa, for over 40 years now, after being framed by the police because of his political activism.
In August 2020, we as *Mutapa Afrocentric Dialogues* hosted a tribute lecture to that great Afrocentric grand master teacher and one of the greatest historians of our Race, *Baba Dr Runoko Rashidi.*
As part of this lecture and inspired by the work of Dr Rashidi, I published a section titled ‘Critical Moments of Black Resistance That Occurred in the Month of August’.
I indicated then, that I believed that this section of the Rashidi lecture deserved specialised attention and that I might consider doing this on a month- to -month basis.
You may also be aware by now that, for over three years, we as *Mutapa* have hosted what we call Afrocentric lectures.
These are structured and interactive Blacks-only critical conversations on moments or individuals that are important in the history of global Black resistance.
Our focus is particularly on those Black moments or individuals who are either erased from or ignored by so called mainstream discourses, in ‘academia’ and other spaces.
The overall objective of the Mutapa Afrocentric lecture series is not just to inculcate a deeper appreciation for the study and narration of authentic Black history.
But also, to enable us as individual Black people, to develop our own cognitive instruments, through which we can look at the self and world.
Essentially, our work seeks to liberate the Black mind from the cognitive cage of Europe and other anti-black groups in the world.
Consistent with the pledge I made at the time of paying tribute to Dr Runoko Rashidi, below, I have provided a list of important moments in the history of radical Black resistance that are connected to the month of August.
These are individuals and moments I believe are worth remembering and studying, by us as Black people. The list below doesn’t claim to be exhaustive.
There could be other moments or individuals I may have omitted. So, the whole point of this project is merely to get us to develop an afrocentic memory.
*IMPORTANT BLACK RESISTANCE MOMENTS IN AUGUST*
The 1st of August, marks the 109th anniversary of the founding of *Mkhulu Marcus Garvey’s* Universal Negro Improvement and Conservation Association (UNIA) and African Communities League in 1914.
The 2nd of August, marks the 99th anniversary of the birth of the novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic, *Baba James Baldwin* in 1924.
The 2nd of August also marks the 3rd anniversary of the passing of one of the greatest historians and master teachers of our race, *Baba Dr Runoko Rashidi*
The 3rd of August, marks the 191st anniversary of the birth of the educator, writer, diplomat, and political activist *Mkhulu Edward Wilmot Blyden* in 1832.
Blyden is regarded by some as the ‘Father of Pan Africanism’ and credited with coining the slogan ‘Africa for Africans’.
The 5th of August, marks the 141st anniversary of the passing of *Gogo Anna Douglass in 1882.*
She was an abolitionist, member of the Underground Railroad, and the first wife of AmeriKKKan social reformer and statesman Frederick Douglass.
The 5th of August also marks the 85th anniversary of the birthday of *Baba James Cone* in 1938. Cone was a theologian and a leading theoretician of Black Liberation Theology in the 20th century.
The 5th of August, also marks the 47th anniversary of the murder in detention of Black Consciousness leader, *Ntate Mapetla Mohapi* in 1976.
The 6th of August, marks the 61st anniversary of the declaration of independence by Jamaica from Britain, in 1962.
The 7th of August, marked the 53rd anniversary of Black August Rebellion of 1970. Black August originated in the California’s penal system.
It aimed to honour fallen Black revolutionaries such as *Baba Jonathan Jackson, Baba George Jackson, Baba William Christmas, Baba James McClain and Baba Khatari Gaulden*
Jonathan Jackson was gunned down outside the Marin County California courthouse on August 7, 1970 as he attempted to liberate three imprisoned Black Liberation Fighters.
The 16th of August marks the 11th anniversary of the *Marikana Uprising* when the South AfriKKKan Police killed over 30 Black people and in addition, 250 of them were arrested.
The 17th of August marks the 113th anniversary of the birth of the incomparable, *Mkhulu Marcus Mosiah Garvey*, in 1887.
The 17th of August also marks the 217th anniversary of the assassination of one of the cardinal leaders of one the most significant moments of Black radical resistance- the Haitian Revolution, *Mkhulu Jean Jacques Dessalines* in 1806.
The 17th also marks the 179th anniversary of the birth of *Kumkani Menelik II of Ethiopia*. He is revered for defeating the Italians in the battle of Adwa in 1896.
The 18th of August marks the 46th anniversary of the final arrest of *Baba Bantu Biko* in 1977. Biko was later tortured and murdered in police custody on 12 September, 1977.
The 20th August marks the 88th anniversary of the birth of the forgotten freedom fighter and ANC leader, *Mama Dulcie September*. September was assassinated on 29 of March, in 1988 France.
The 21st August marks the 232nd anniversary of the beginning of the most important Black resistance moment of the past 200 year, the *Haitian Revolution in 1791*
The 21st of August also marks the 52nd anniversary of the assassination of the revolutionary, *Baba George Lester Jackson* by prison guards, during a Black prison rebellion at San Quentin, in 1971.
Jackson is also the author of the books *‘Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson’ and ‘Blood In My Eye’*
The 22nd of August marks the 192nd anniversary of the *Mkhulu Nat Turner’s* slave rebellion in 1831.
The 22nd of August also marks the 34th anniversary of the passing of one of the founders of the Black Panther Party, *Baba Huey Newton*, in 1989.
The 26th of August marks the 128th anniversary of the capture of the *Warrior Kgosi Galeshewe wa Mothibi* by the British land thieves in 1897.
After Galeshewe’s capture, he was sentenced to ten years with hard labour. He served five years at the Breakwater prison in Cape Town.
The 30th of August marks the 75th anniversary of the birth of one of the cardinal leaders of the Black Panther Party, *Baba Fred Hampton* in 1948.
Hampton was the deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party and was assassinated (at age 21) while sleeping with his partner in his apartment, during a raid by the Chicago PD/FBI.
The 31st of August marks the 87th anniversary of the birth of another cardinal leader of the Black Panther Party, *Baba Eldridge Cleaver*. Cleaver is also the author of the book ‘Soul on Ice’.
*Veli Mbele kaSompisi is an Afrocentric essayist and cofounder of the Black Power Front and the Afrocentric think-tank Mutapa Afrocentric Dialogues*
- SOME IMPORTANT MOMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF BLACK RESISTANCE FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST - August 7, 2023
- RESISTING THE HYPER- CRIMINALISATION OF BLACK MEN: 42 YEARS IN CAPTIVITY: THE BLACK WORLD REMEMBERS BABA MUMIA ABU- JAMAL - May 8, 2023
- A REVOLUTIONARY WHO LIVED AMONG THE PEOPLE- A TRIBUTE TO COMRADE CHRIS MATLHAKO (1965-2023) - April 24, 2023