Black August is coming back to Albany this year, and I really don’t want you to miss it. With protests all over the world following the death of George Floyd, this could be a great time for everyone to learn about Black August.

Black August began when a group of inmates came together to commemorate the life of activist George Jackson. George Jackson died in a California prison on August 21, 1971. Jackson received a one-year prison sentence in 1964 for allegedly stealing $70, but he was never released.

Jackson wrote letters to his parents telling them of his frustration and rage over systemic racism and he’s imprisonment. His letters went on to be published as a collection titled Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson and he became known as an activist.

Black August is not another Black History Month. It is a time to learn about the judicial system and to seek changes to it. This year Black August will be held at Townsend Park beginning at 6 p.m. and activist groups will be back out in force.

The groups include VOCAL-NY (Voices of Community Activist Leaders); Urban Grief; All of Us; E.L.E.V.A.T.E. 518; CAAMI (Capital. Area Against Mass Incarceration); FFIC (Fines & Fees Justice Center); Troy for Black Lives; and Youth FX. All of these organizations have been very active over the past few months protesting anti-black racism.

At 7 p.m. the organizers will show various videos of black activism. This is a perfect time to get involved in a movement and be a part of your community.

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