BLACK AUGUST ARCHIVES
is a multimedia archive that is dedicated to documenting, collecting, and preserving hxstories of freedom fighters and radical light. A liberatory archive in content and structure, Black August Archives seeks to digitize and collect material from various social and political movements, most notably the prisoners' movement of the 1960s and 70s. The archive ultimately works to disseminate these hxstories in order to educate our communities and impact future trajectories of liberation.
Inspired by the life and legacy of prison activist and fallen freedom fighter George Jackson, the archive gets its name from the month long commemoration and celebration of Black resistance known as Black August. Black August historically remains a month that "bursts at the seams with histories of Black resistance–from the Haitian Revolution
to the Nat Turner Rebellion, from the Fugitive Slave Law Convention and the foundation of the Underground Railroad to the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, from the March on Washington to the Watts Uprising, from the births of Marcus Garvey, Russell Maroon Shoatz, and Fred Hampton to the deaths of W.E.B du Bois and George Jackson’s own younger brother Jonathan killed while attempting to free the Soledad Brothers from prison" (From Critical Resistance). In honor of these hxstories, Black August Archives will attempt to combat predominant narratives surrounding these liberation movements by digitizing material from the hidden, community-based archive.
Photo of George Jackson, with arm around and holding hand of woman. San Quentin Prison, 1970. Property of UCSC Special Collections and Archives. Used under fair use clause for research and educational purposes.
Black August Archives is an ongoing project that is curated with care—acknowledging the complexities of a period that is remembered as radical, inspiring, and liberating to some while controversial, contentious and painful to others. In embracing all perspectives and by directing attention to primary sources, the archive works to spread these lost hxstories of resistance in order to enact necessary liberatory memory work.
From the Archive: Photo of rally for the Attica Brothers in Buffalo, New York.
"We must prove our predictions about the future with action." -George Jackson