Activists are commemorating Black August. Here’s the history behind the month-long celebration


Harmeet Kaur, CNN

Activists and social justice organizations are celebrating the history of Black resistance this month in what’s known as Black August.This year’s commemoration follows months of ongoing nationwide protests over systemic racism and the killings of Black people at the hands of police.And no, it’s not a second Black History Month.

“During Black August, we honor Black freedom fighters, many of whom were killed by the state or imprisoned for defending Black lives,” Monifa Bandele with the Movement for Black Lives said in a statement to CNN.

“This month is a time to reflect and learn about the legacies of Black revolutionaries, while we rededicate ourselves to the protracted struggles against white supremacy, colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism. We study, plan, and pledge to continue the work and fight for Black liberation.”Black August is a tradition that originated in California’s prisons in the 1970’s after the deaths of brothers Jonathan and George Jackson as well as other incarcerated Black men who sought freedom.Here’s what you need to know about Black August.

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People gather for the funeral of George Jackson in Oakland, California, in 1971.


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