Since 2015, Black August in the Park has been dedicated to creating a space to inspire people of African descent to come together, assert their worth, and engage in social and cultural change.
What started as a group of five friends wanting to resist black gentrification and celebrate their Blackness in a public way has grown into an annual event that uses joy as a form of resistance to honor the legacy of "Black August" by re-envisioning it.
Black August is a month-long observance that honors the lives and legacies of Black political prisoners, freedom fighters, and martyrs of the Black liberation struggle. It is also a time to reflect on the history of the Black freedom struggle and to recommit to the fight for justice and liberation.
Black August was initiated by the Black Guerilla Family in San Quentin State Prison in 1979 when a group of incarcerated people came together to commemorate the deaths of brothers Jonathan Jackson and George Jackson. They initiated a set of values and practices to commemorate Black August which included:
Studying the history of Black political prisoners and freedom fighters.
Fasting as a symbolic act of resistance against the prison system and the state.
Training. This includes physical training, political education, and self-defense training.
Fighting for justice and liberation.