Black August, birthdays, prisons & assassinations
Nehanda Abiodun celebrates her 58th birthday in Cuba. Like her friend and fellow activist, Black Panther Assata Shakur, Abiodun has been living in exile in Cuba where she set up a branch of the Black August Hip-Hop project. Black August was set up to honor Black Panthers San Quentin Six – “honor fallen Freedom Fighters, Jonathan Jackson, George Jackson, William Christmas, James McClain and Khatari Gaulden”. Today is the 37th anniversary of the assassination of George Jackson. A small group of faithful gathered together outside the US Embassy in London to remember.
On August 21, 1971, three days before I was to go on trial, a guard gunned me down in the prison yard at San Quentin in what officials described as an escape attempt. That was my chance to get out of prison and help the fight on the home front, away from containment. Had I been released, who knows what could have happened. I was first shot in the ankle, which through me to the ground, then, in my own blood was shot again by a sniper in the prison yard…
A tribute by another African, Walter Rodney, also assassinated – in 1980, points to the importance of the prison industrial complex dating back to slavery, in the African independence movements and Black nationalism continuing today as witnessed in New Orleans, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, with prison slave labour and the prison of poverty.
Once it is made known that George Jackson was a black revolutionary in the white mans jails, at least one point is established, since we are familiar with the fact that a significant proportion of African nationalist leaders graduated from colonialist prisons, and right now the jails of South Africa hold captive some of the best of our brothers in that part of the continent. Furthermore, there is some considerable awareness that ever since the days of slavery the U.S.A. is nothing but a vast prison as far as African descendants are concerned. Within this prison, black life is cheap, so it should be no surprise that George Jackson was murdered by the San Quentin prison authorities who are responsible to Americas chief prison warder,
Richard NixonThe President.
IN 2008, the colonial prison returns in the form of the new military high command for Africa, AFRICOM which can also be traced back to slavery and the arrival of Portuguese on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Nehanda