This Month’s Focus: Education & The History of Black August

August is a potent month historically – the first enslaved Africans were brought to America in August. The deaths of W.E.B. Du Bois, the Jackson brothers, and Mike Brown happened in August, as well as the births of Marcus Garvey and Fred Hampton.

Nat Turner’s slave rebellion, the underground railroad, the March on Washington, and the Ferguson riots all started in August, too.

But Black August was born out of prison resistance movements in the 1970s, as freedom fighters like George Jackson and the San Quentin Six fought for liberation. In solidarity, many revolutionaries utilize August as a more radical Black History moment.

Colorized illustration (after a woodcut published in 1831) depicts scenes from a rebellion of enslaved people, under the leadership of Nat Turner, August 21 – 23, 1831. The original woodcut, titled ‘Horrid Massacre In Virginia,’ was published in Samuel Warner’s pamphlet ‘Authentic and Impartial Narrative of the Tragical Scene,’ described the scenes as, from left, a woman pleading for the lives of her children, the murder of an enslaver identified as ‘Mr Travis,’ and another man, a ‘Mr Barrow,’ defending himself as his wife escapes. The enslaved peoples, with the aid of some so-called ‘free blacks,’ killed between 50 and 60 victimsÑlater white mobs, assisted by militias, killed more than 120 enslaved people and free blacks in retaliation. Turner himself was captured several days after the pamphlet’s publication and executed the following November. (Photo by Science Source/Photo Researchers History/Getty Images)

Why should you talk about Black August? (1) Not many folks know about it. (2) “Black August is a time to embrace the principles of unity, self-sacrifice, political education, physical training, and resistance,” explains Black Opinion.

Studying Black history, and organizing our communities around Black resistance and uplift, is essential throughout the year. But an embrace of Black August and its values can invigorate our efforts to fight for justice on and offline.

More about Pushing Black:

We’re enlisting creators to help build Black political power this election season! Starting with National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 20 by sharing a video to their profile with a call to action to register to vote via a trackable link in bio.

Interested in partnering with us to register Black voters on TikTok? Respond to this email with your rate and we’ll get back to you on next steps if it’s a fit.

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