When change is coming but it's taking just a little too long... the fearless will take matters into their own hands.
It's no doubt that this photo will become iconic and make the history books.
Since the tragic deaths of the Charleston 9, there has been a petition to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state house. For many people, the flag- which could be seen worn by the Emanuel AME murderer in many of his photos leading up to the tragic event- is a painful reminder of systemic oppression, White supremacy, and a symbol of pervasive racism.
Although the SC Governor Nikki Haley called for the Confederate flag to be removed from the Statehouse grounds, the flag is protected by state law and can not officially be removed until the state’s General Assembly makes a decision. Thus, the flag remained flying high – until one courageous woman decided she had, had enough!
This morning, activist Bree Newsome took matters into her own hands when she and a friend arrived to the state grounds, equipped with climbing apparel and accessories, in which Bree used to courageously scaled the flag pole to remove the Confederate flag. Within moments of her arrival, the city's police officers were notified, and arrived on the scene to stop Bree's bold act of civil disobedience. But, despite their commands for her to come down, she kept her eyes focused toward the sky as she reached the top and snatched the flag right down. Bree even looked down at the police and confidently stated:
“You come against me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today.”
As Bree made her way back to the ground, she began to quote a scripture from Psalm 27:1 to let the authorities know she had nothing to fear with God on her side:
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Once on the ground, the powerhouse protestor placed her hands up and calmly complied with officers, as she and her companion were both detained by police. But, her impending arrest didn’t stop the proud North Carolinian from looking directly into a camera and flashing a smile as a small crowd cheered her on. As she was led away from the scene toward her arrest, she began to recite the beginning of Psalms 23 and said:
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,
He leadeth me beside the still waters…”
Her act of defiance and pictures soon spread across Twitter as many people celebrated her decision. But, many people had one question on their mind: Who is Bree Newsome?
According to her personal website, Bree is a writer, filmmaker, classically trained pianist, musician, activist, and a motivational speaker. Armed with Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film & Television from New York University’s acclaimed Tish School of the Arts, Bree has been making major moves for years with political commentary against the Republican party, a EP with her funk band about her experiences as an activist, and was even arrest just last year during a sit-in at the North Carolina State Capitol when she spoke out about the state’s voting rights issues.
And with her most recent act of bravery, she has been the center of attention on Twitter. Everyone from fellow activists DeRay and Shaun King to celebrities have applauded her for taking matters into her own hands, making Bree a trending topic under the tag: #FreeBree
Even Selma movie Director Ava DuVernay called Bree a “Black superhero”
And filmmaker Michael Moore offered to pay her bail and legal fees:
Details following her arrest are still under wraps, but Bree released a statement about why she removed the Confederate flag:
“We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer. It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.”
Experience her historical moment in the clip on Page 2