Gallery of the Month: August

Welcome to the newest gallery in JAC’s Gallery of the Month series, where we showcase a wide range of art and writing under unique monthly themes. Check back each month for a new collection of works by the talented artists in JAC’s network. To view past galleries of the month, see our Gallery Archive

“[Black August] is a connection to the struggle for those in prison. It allows them to know the work that they were doing and continue to do from behind the [prison] walls. It means something, and it is appreciated. People give you that will to go on, to continue the struggle. They give you the resources to continue the struggle. If the brothers and sisters in the prisons today can get that real support, a lot of them can get out.

Sekou Mgbozi Mbdullah Odinga

Black August was started in California prisons in the 1970s by Black freedom fighters in an effort to honor the lives and deaths of Black political prisoners, bring awareness to the oppressive conditions of U.S. prisons, commemorate historic Black resistance against anti-Black state violence, and obtain Black liberation. We chose this theme for our Gallery of the Month because many BIPOC individuals in prisons now, including artists in JAC’s network, still face the same harsh environments and discrimination that freedom fighters in the 1970s experienced. Through the artists’ depictions of freedom and Black liberation, we hope to continue raising political consciousness within JAC’s community and individuals interacting with artists on the inside.

Black August can be observed through fasting, exercising, shopping at Black-owned businesses, abstaining from alcohol or drug use, or educating oneself on Black resistance movements and much more. We invite you to take action with us by amplifying the history of Black resistance in the U.S. and supporting artists who are impacted by the racist, repressive, and reactionary criminal legal system.

Please consider making a donation to support JAC’s mission as we work to provide resources to our artists on the inside during the month of August and beyond. All new JAC sustaining members who sign up to donate $10 or more a month will get to help choose next month’s theme!