Prison Radio
Sheik Bilal Abdul Salaam-Bey

This Bilal Abdul Salaam-Bey, also known as Charley Hughes, an inmate at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility in Hutchinson, Kansas. This piece is on Black August.

Black August commemorates George Jackson and the other victims of COINTELPRO and to mark the global oppression of our people. The tradition also commemorates significant civil rights and freedom struggle events that occurred in August.

During August each year, people who commemorate Black August would observe the following practices: We do not listen to the radio or music or watch TV. We do not eat or drink anything from sunup to sundown. August 7th and 21st, we fast for 24 hours. Loud and boastful talk is not allowed. The use of drugs and alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Daily exercise is mandatory.

Because during Black August, emphasis is placed on sacrifice, fortitude, and discipline. Black August is a time to embrace the principles of unity, self-sacrifice, political education, physical training, and resistance. We studied for at least four hours a day. Required reading is material on the following: George Jackson, Marcus Garvey, UNIA, BPP, BLA, TGRNA, BGF, and the Underground Railroad.

Daily exercise consists of 100 jumping jacks, 100 pushups, 50 pull-ups, and 50 dips. One must study Swahili during Black August.

Events that occurred during August. August 2nd, 1991, Bilal Abdul Salaam-Bey was born. August 17th, 1887, Marcus Garvey was born. August 13th, 1619, slaves brought to Jamestown, Virginia. August 17th, 1852, Underground Railroad started. August 1st, annual UNIA convention and parade. August 7, 1970, Jonathan Jackson leads courtroom revolution. August 21st, 1971, George Jackson killed by guard in San Quentin. August 1962, Nelson Mandela arrested. August 1955, Emmett Till murdered. August 1963, March on Washington. August 1965, Watts Riots. August 1978, MOVE family bombing. August 21st, 1831, Nat Turner slave revolution.

This concludes the piece on Black August. Once again, this is Bilal Abdul Salaam-Bey. Those wishing to reach me may do so by writing Charley Hughes, number 96576, Hutchinson Correctional Facility, PO Box 1568, Hutchinson, KS, 67504.

Thank you for your time, effort, and energy.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.