Carrying the roots of Black August forward in 2023: Dani Abdullah

What are the origins of Black August and why do we continue to commemorate it every year? Why is it especially important in this moment in the U.S.? Dani Abdullah, a mother, therapist, and member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation discusses these questions and more as part of her speech delivered at the PSL and Indianapolis Liberation Center’s Black August Liberation Forum.

More than any other month, Abdullah says, August has historically carried the weight of the Black liberation struggle. Enslaved Africans were first brought to British North America in August 1619. Just over 200 years later, in August 1831, Nat Turner led the most well-known rebellion of enslaved people in U.S. history. This historical significance carried into the 20th century, when both the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (where Dr. King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech), and the Watts Rebellion—an explosive uprising against racist policing in Los Angeles—occurred in August 1965. Fast forward to the 21st century, August 2014 was the year 18-year-old Mike Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri.

Videographer: Jared Grillo