Black August, Letter Writing and the ‘Harm Reduction’ Administration

There are four major components in the yearly commemorations of Black August: study, fast, train, and fight. People are encouraged to study the works and words of former and current political and politicized prisoners. People are encouraged to fast from sunrise to sunset. People are encouraged to train and become more physically active. People are encouraged to fight against the system. However, one of the lesser centered but equally important aspects of Black August is letter writing.  Nearly a half-century ago, Gresham Sykes wrote in The Society of Captives: A Study of a Maximum Security Prison that, “life in the . . .

A protest in New York calling for an extension of eviction moratoriums and a cancellation of rent.

On the Eviction Crisis: This is Dire

This is dire. The continued failure to cancel rent payments in the pandemic on Biden’s watch means people will die, families will be separated, and the carceral system will act to claim both parents and children. How? Families with small children are more likely to be behind on their rent, especially Black families. The moratorium did not eliminate rent payments but simply halted them, meaning those families will now have to pay impossible sums or face eviction from landlords who have been chomping at the bit for this moment to present itself. When families are evicted–forced into being unhoused or . . .

Jonathan Jackson, 17, with William Christmas, James McClain and Ruchell Magee take judge, prosecutor, three jurors as hostages to waiting van Aug. 7, 1970

Black August: Fight, Study, Fast, Train

Black August is an African (Black) institution that is commemorated annually to honor the contributions of our African freedom fighters who sacrificed in order to strike blows against the U.S. capitalist empire on behalf of the African masses.  . . .

An African holds a piece of lettuce.

Unreading Colonial Food Systems

Originally published in the August 2021 Out of Print Newsletter by the Noname Reads Book Club ︎︎Like many people who went through U.S. public school systems, I am intimately familiar with institutional food; canned vegetables, square cut pizza, frozen & highly processed mystery meats, syrupy fruit cups, all of that. Institutional food is low-cost, low in nutritional value, and arguably pretty gross. I remember asking our school superintendent why our cafeteria wasn’t able to purchase food from the vibrant community of local farmers. He told me that our school was bound up in a large multi-year contract with a number . . .

Democratic candidate for Senate Jon Ossoff, right, and Democratic candidate for Senate Raphael G. Warnock, left, arrive before they speak to a crowd during a "Get Out the Early Vote" event at the SluttyVegan ATL restaurant on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Jonesboro, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Black Liberal, Your Time is Up

You are here to translate an uprising. You are here to show your black skin so that you can claim the mantle of authority on anti-Blackness that white liberals have bestowed upon you. You are here to sit at their pundit tables, before their cameras. Your face beaming across the world as it provides the safest possible interpretation of a revolution in order to police its possibilities and pave over the threat of abolition with as mild and ineffective a reform as possible. . . .

President Biden hands a pen to Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) during the signing of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act in the East Room of the White House. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Witnessing the Selling Out of Juneteenth Right Before Our Eyes

the militant and uncompromising spirit of the Juneteenth celebrations I grew up with has been replaced by a dominant “can we all get along” party atmosphere that uplifts symbolic progress while hammering the message that the absolute only legitimate form of struggle that is morally acceptable is that waged through the capitalist electoral process on an individual basis. . . .

Self-proclaimed "Prince of Pan-Afrikanism" Umar Johnson

Umar Johnson isn’t Pan-Africanism.

Umar Johnson advances ideas committed to capitalism, individualism, patriarchy, and homophobia. None of those qualities match revolutionary Pan-Africanism which is always a universal humanist ideology and objective centered on the masses of Africa and all of humanity. . . .

An African holds a sign that says "Black Lives Matter"

The Politician

The Politician is our organizer, activist, and freedom fighter. She is our mother, daughter, sibling, and compatriot. She walks behind, beside, and in front of us. She sets the pace and brings up the rear. She claims to be a servant, but we know her as much more than a servant of the people. She is our light in the dark. She illuminates the path we follow. . . .