Black August Planning Organization (BAPO)

BAPO logo 

Mission Statement

The Black August Planning Organization (BAPO) is committed to the task of ensuring that our political prisoners (PPs) and prisoners-of-war (POWs), particularly those of the black liberation movement in the USA, are not forgotten. We advocate on their behalf, disseminate their teachings and principles, and tell their stories of struggle against injustice. By doing this, we hope to contribute to the fight for their liberation and to inspire those of us outside of captivity to pick up where they left off.

In addition to the individual PP/POWs, we also commemorate the history of the movements and organizations of which they were a part, as well as of the movements and organizations which preceded them, thus providing an historical overview of the ongoing movement for black liberation. Furthermore, we encourage all organizations, no matter what their cause, to contribute earnestly and with good work to the cause of black liberation and to the freedom of all PP/POWs. After all, the unspeakable persecution suffered by such fine political activists and thinkers as Marcus Garvey, Assata Shakur, and Mumia Abu-Jamal sufficiently proves that Unless we fight for true liberation and power for ourselves and others, today’s activist may well be tomorrow’s political prisoner!

Any movement that doesn’t support its political prisoners is a sham movement.”

-Ojore Lutalo

What is Black August?

Blessed are those who struggle;

Oppression is worst than the grave.

Better to die for a noble cause

Than to live and die a slave.

The Last Poets

BLACK AUGUST began in 1979* as a commemoration of the life, the death, and the material and spiritual contributions of several freedom fighters who were assassinated or otherwise persecuted at the hands of the racist and reactionary United States government (via the California Department of Corrections) as it worked to suppress the black liberation movement that had emerged (after about 1960) to fight against injustices within the California Penal System. These freedom fighters included, along with scores of others, George Jackson, his brother Jonathan Jackson, William Christmas, Fleeta Drumgo, W.L. Nolan, Alvin Miller, Cleveland Edwards, Khatari Gaulden, James McClain, Ruchelle Magee, John Cluchette, Lateef Allen, and Sujaa Graham. With the exception of Jonathan Jackson (the leader of the August 1970 Marin County Court House rebellion), these men served in the black liberation prison movement known as the “Black Guerrilla Family”. In this regard, these men prominently worked and in some cases sacrificed their all, including their very lives, for the people’s massive resistance against injustice. That is to say, they fought against racist bigotry, class prejudice, and oppression both inside and outside of the prison walls. To quote George Jackson, “We attempted to transform the black criminal mentality into a black revolutionary mentality. As a result, each of us has been subjected to years of the most vicious reactionary violence by the state.”

As time has passed, BLACK AUGUST, as a black consciousness commeration, outgrew its beginnings in the California prisons and became recognized nationwide as an annual celebration of the black liberation movement in its entirety, that is, from the sixteenth century slave rebellions in the Americas to the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X and, furthermore, to the subsequent militant work of the Black Panther Party and the Student National Coordinating Committee. In this growth, BLACK AUGUST still encourages resistance against all manner of injustice and racist bigotry, and it calls upon us to remember all who struggled against oppression, with a particular emphasis on current political prisoners and prisoners of war.

Through education, BLACK AUGUST provides an opportunity to study the black liberation movement and its every attempt to destroy slavery and racist oppression in the Americas. Despite state-supported violence in the United States this liberation movement continued in stubborn perseverence. Hence, in the work of Gabriel Prosser, Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, Ida B. Wells, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, the Montgomery Improvement Association, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Kwame Toure, Fannie Lou Hamer, Imam Jamil Al-Amin, the Student National Coordinating Committee, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, the Revolutionary Action Movement, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (“NAACP”), the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Black Liberation Army (“BLA”), and a host of other organizations, the black liberation movement has continued from slavery through the present. Valuable lessons can be learned from this history.

For those reasons, the Black August Planning Organization (BAPO) promotes and celebrates BLACK AUGUST and we are honored to be a part of this process. Through BLACK AUGUST, and through valuable lessons drawn from our modern-day political struggles for liberation, we in BAPO hope to acquire a better understanding of ourselves.

*Some of the original founders went on to create the Black August Organizing committee (BAOC) based in California


The permanent goals for BAPO are as follows:

  • As a commemorative exercise, keep BLACK AUGUST alive and promote it throughout the Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. metropolitan region and beyond.

  • Create and sustain another line of contact between political prisoners and prisoners-of-war, on the one hand, and the “Movement” on the other hand.

  • Identify and address the needs of our community to whatever reasonable capacity our resources can accommodate, and do this consistent with and in honor of the life’s work of our political prisoners and prisoners-of-war whom we honor.

  • Take advantage of our strategic location in the nation’s capital, the seat of U.S. political power, and push the issue of liberating our political prisoners and prisoners-of-war on the U.S. Congress and on the executive and judiciary branches of the U.S. [government].

  • Be consistent and thorough in our programs that serve to promote the interests of our political prisoners and prisoners-of-war and that also serve to increase awareness about this important issue.

  • Encourage all activist/revolutionary/reformist organizations to work for the liberation of our political prisoners and prisoners-of-war.

  • Incite and/or direct people towards effective actions that could alleviate or, at the very least, draw attention to the conditions of degradation in our communities.





3 Responses to “Black August Planning Organization (BAPO)”

  1. Please send e-mail ASAP!

    “Next Black August Events 2011” or
    Shoot To Be Studio:202/562-0482

    Thanks! Bro. RD. Genus

  2. Please send next Black August Planning Events for 2011 Dates/times…

  3. Next Black August 2012 at the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation Visitor Center Omaha,NE

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