Black August: A Celebration of Liberation & Freedom Fighters

National Black Business Month

While we celebrate and honor Black history during the month of February every year, there’s also a lesser known, but just as important, holiday to commemorate the struggle for Black liberation.

“Black August,” created in 1979 at San Quentin State Prison, in honor of fallen brothers and activists associated with The Black Panther Party, Jonathan P. Jackson & George Jackson, is to highlight Black resistance against systemic impression and remember Black political prisoners.

A few dates celebrated during the month include Emancipation Day (August 1st), celebrated throughout former British colonies to celebrate the emancipation of African enslaved persons, Bois Caiman (August 14th), where the first uprising during the Haitian Revolution was planned, and International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade & It’s Abolition (August 23).

In honor of Black August and National Black Businesses Month, we’d like to highlight organizations within our community that are catering to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.  

  • Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA)
    • A Black-led alliance that supports Black mamas and birthing people for the advancement of Black maternal health, rights, and reproductive justice. Grounded in birth justice framework, the BMMA provides technical assistance, training, and capacity building. They have four goals: to change policy that improves maternal outcomes, cultivate research, enhance and introduce holistic and comprehensive approaches to care, and shift the narrative on Black mamas. 
  • Black Feminist Project
    • Focused on restoring the agency, justice, and joys of Black women, girls, and other marginalized genders (maGes), with an emphasis on mother-led families, they use food and reproductive justice programming to explore intersectionality and empower leaders right here in the Boogie Down Bronx. The Black Feminist Project maintains an urban farm in the South Bronx, the Alice Fields Community Center, a community food program, mutual aid funds, and hosts restorative-justice based workshops. 
  • Sowing Wildflowers
    • By and for Black survivors of interpersonal and state violence, Sowing Wildflowers provides restorative healing and collective care spaces. They also make care packages for Black survivors within the New York City & Detroit area. 
  • Gays & Lesbians Living In a Transgender Society (GLITS Inc.)
    • GLITS approaches the health and human rights crisis faced by the transgender community holistically, using principles of harm reduction, economic, and social justice. GLITS prioritizes immediate needs regarding housing, access to safe and low-cost healthcare, and LGBTQ+ asylum seekers. Along with relocation services, they provide asylum assistance, and physical & mental health referrals, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In the upcoming year, they plan to open a residential building with 12 apartments. 
  • Breathe Collective
    • Founded in 2014 after developing the first gender-specific restorative justice program for juvenile justice impacted girls in NYC, The Breathe Collective focuses on holistic wellness via B.R.E.A.T.H.E Circles, Breathe Cafe, which provides nourishing meals, the PeaceKeepHers Program, and Who Keeps The Keeper, a community-based approach to healing and self-care for frontline workers. 
  • NourishNYC
    • With a catchy slogan, “People over money,” NourishNYC has been prioritizing Black LGBTQ+ New Yorkers since May 2020 by distributing essential goods, supporting community fridges and pantries, distributing microgrants, and hosting arts programming, all while taking a holistic approach to community care. 
  • Afro Resistance
    • Formed in 2004 under the name the Latin American & Caribbean Community Center (LACCC), Afro Resistance is a community-based organization that centers the most marginalized of the Latino community – those of African descent & Indigenous peoples through trainings, programs, and fundraising by organizing around human rights, democracy, and racial justice throughout the Americas.  
  • Justice for Black Girls

For more information about Black August:

Study, fast, train, fight: The roots of Black August

The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL): Black August

The Black Collective

Source: Center for Institutional Rights, “Black August: A Celebration of Freedom Fighters Past & Present.”  Featured image from Black Cultural Zone: Liberation Park.

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