black -the color of my true love’s hair- is also the name given to my skin. and I take that name back in pride because there is nothing but strength in this flesh. i carry on, for my ancestors, the memories and experiences of lives gone by and struggles for liberation. we sing our freedom songs to one another where ever we meet: on corners- congregation pews- jail cells- bus seats- sin shacks- chat sites- taxis- dark rooms- and living rooms.
black august is the name we have given this month. in honor of all the triumphs, tragedies and challenges that Africans have faced since coming to these shores. it is also in ceremony and remembrance of fighters that we bless this cycle.
The universe has witnessed major points of african struggle, rebirth and genius in this special month: The first official slaves were brought to this country in August 1619. A general strike of slaves was called for in August of 1843. The Underground Railroad’s founding date is in August. The rebellions of Nat Turner (1831) and Gabriel Prosser (1800) were in August. The MOVE house was bombed by the state in August of 1978. Fred Hampton and Mutulu Shakur are August births. DuBois died in Ghana in August of 1963. and Jonathan Jackson, in protest of his brother George’s arrest, attempted to liberate his kin by taking hostages in the Alameda Courthouse and was killed.
we must remember our moments here. one of the greatest tools of the oppressor is to take away our connections with one another. with our history. with our knowledge that pain and suffering are not infinite and do not have to be. we can create and dream of something better. this sky is the same one that revolutions have been dreamt under and that our revolutionary foremothers moved under.
and these are thoughts for inspiration
thoughts for revolution
the people must be free.
The following post is short and sweet. The Black Power Mixtapes stands as an important piece of film because of its revealing of precious revolutionary history. Angela Davis speaks in this clip about what violence is and how Black militants view the subject. She makes the essential point that we must understand what the term truly means. Is property destruction (breaking a Footlocker window) during political rebellions violence? Is fighting back against the fascist police violence? Is stealing from a corporate store violence? Davis answers “no”. These acts, which are usually so quickly pointed out by the liberals and conservatives as acts of deviance and destruction are reactions to a systemic injustice. They are reactions to the true violence of the society.
Black folk have been the subject of Capitalism’s dehumanizing violence from our initial encounters with the West. Violence is the ghetto, the slave trade, the police state, inadequate schools, the prison system, the courts, welfare, patriarchy, capitalism, racism, homophobia, unhealthy foods, a lack of nature in your surroundings, the demeaning and degrading of all that your culture admires, being trapped behind cement walls and green shades. Those things are violent acts. So when we talk about what violence is, it is important to remind ourselves of the entire picture. The entire scope.
growing slender like lost shapes
dirtied slacks, rusted basons, and worn tools.
It’s left the old parts on the hillside to lay amongst the mocking eyes.
They are an audience -conspiracy- and I am a leper on display.
growing cold- empty like shells.
Allowing fingers to trace itself in an infinite darkness.
Stretching out snatches of skin.
growing old like dust tracks.
Was once a not so sacred shack.
Opened like lips before trembling. Abused. Unloved.
Touched frequently and turned over in soiled hands.
left alone like an awful chill.
Singing to itself, trying to rouse warmth from the ebony shrouds.