The Significance Of August 28th In Black History

raised clenched fist
Briona Lamback
August 28, 2023

August is our time. It’s always been a month of immense change, resistance, and hope for us. In particular, August 28th is a critical date throughout our history.

On August 28th, 1833, Britain abolished slavery, which had a domino effect helping abolition in the US. It’s a reminder that our liberation is intrinsically connected, no matter where we are in the diaspora. 

As Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem says, “We are each other’s harvest. We are each other’s business.”

On August 28, 1955, when Emmett Till was murdered, our people everywhere supported his grieving family and weren’t afraid to speak the truth. Till’s death is often considered a turning point for the Civil Rights Movement. 

Eight years later, on August 28 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech which renewed the hope we’ve held on to throughout this liberation struggle.

On August 28, 2002, Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans’ Black community, and three years after on the same date, Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for President. These events show that the pendulum often swings between disaster and celebration, but we’ve always been unwavering in our pursuit of liberation.

Building the world we deserve to live in requires us to be in community. We must embrace the energy of August 28th as a reminder of the power we each possess to effect change for Black people everywhere.