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5 things to know about Bree Newsome

Photo credit: shutterstock

Photo credit: shutterstock

Bree Newsome arrested for removing Confederate Flag in South Carolina

Bree Newsome, a millennial freedom fighter, was arrested in Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday, June 27. The activist dressed in climbing gear scaled the pole and removed the Confederate flag that waves in front of the Statehouse. She was halfway up the 30-foot-pole when she was ordered to come down by State Capitol police. She obliged only after she removed the flag. While she stayed bravely on the pole she declared, “You come against me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today.”

Newsome and apparent accomplice, James Tyson who was in the area with her, were arrested. The flag has been raised again by state workers.

A staunch advocate for human rights and social justice, Newsome was arrested last year during a sit-in at the North Carolina State Capitol where she spoke out against the state’s recent attack on voting rights.

Bree Newsome 4

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A classically trained pianist since age seven, Newsome is a graduate of New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts where she received a BFA in Film & Television.

Bree Newsome 5

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Based on her work as an undergraduate student at New York University, Newsome was invited in 2011 to serve as the first ever Artist-in-Residence at Saatchi & Saatchi, a global creative communications and advertising company headquartered in New York.

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Newsome was awarded the coveted Paderewski Medal from the National Piano Guild and won a $12,000 scholarship in the vocal arts portion of the Maryland Distinguished Scholars Competition.

Bree Newsome

Newsome is at work on her debut EP and recently released the song #STAYSTRONG: A LOVESONG TO FREEDOM FIGHTERS inspired by her experiences as an activist and organizer in the modern civil rights movement.

Bree Newsome

Newsome continues to work as an activist and youth organizer in North Carolina, serving in the capacity of Western Field Organizer for the youth-led organization Ignite.

The entire flag takedown was captured on video.

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  1. James Scaminaci III, PhD on June 27, 2015 at 5:55 pm
    • luckless pedestrian on June 29, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      And I just signed it.

  2. HaroldTPennington on June 27, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    ….Some time hit the rollingout. Find Here

  3. Toyin Agbetu on June 28, 2015 at 7:44 am

    It is always inspirational when we understand the need for action over simple rhetoric irrespective of the cost to self. In taking this action and her previous community activities, Bree Newsome has demonstrated herself to be one of those rare breed of freedom fighters cut from the same clothe of some of our greatest Ancestors. May they continue to guide and protect her. Ase.

  4. TheVansOutside on June 28, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Yet, your president. Couldn’t demand removal of the flag during this mans funeral? But he has the power to start war. Oh, just sing a negro spiritual….my bad.

    • Kelli Gardner Bell on June 28, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      ICYMI in your junior high civics class, this is an area where states have sovereignty. Instead of snide racist comments, why don’t you try educating yourself so you’ll stop looking like such an ignorant ass?

      • Toxoplasmosis on June 29, 2015 at 12:27 am

        Kelli, you are correct about TheVans having missed something in junior high. I think you allude to this, but civics is taught state-by-state. Someone from . . .DC? (chocolatecitycom). . . could legitimately have no clue about how SC government works. Then he might be too busy posting about Drake’s beard to bother learning how SC’s government works, or the lengths the legislature went to in order to insure that damned flag never budged.

        What’s scary is he isn’t an RNC-bankrolled troll, he’s independent, he shifts with his mood and the news (not necessarily in that order). He might be a typical American in that, any way the wind blows. Today, you DO have to be a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows at any given instant, it’s turned into Quantum Physics! I don’t see a racist, he nails Bush & Cheney for their crimes. While not elaborated here, he has elsewhere appropriately taken President Obama to task for not doing more to cut funding to over the top police departments rolling out tanks over ordinary citizens.

        Sadly, he seems to suffer from the delusion Republicans evidence daily with their candidates’ that the President is an all-powerful king and can do anything (well, if he’s a Republican, not if he’s Obama). S/he can’t. If he paid more attention to that part of civics which is consistent across all 50 states and DC, he could do something. But from his uninformed standpoint, of course “Amazing Grace” seems like a half-assed approach, failing to get the power and influence black ministers have wielded for . . . 150 years? He can’t be pigeonholed and he bears watching, but he needs a civics refresher and maybe some Google training to really get the knowledge to contribute constructively. I hope he gets them. Otherwise he’ll be operating with as few facts as the teabaggers.

    • Jason on June 30, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Amen, and don’t worry about the “whatever Obama does is good enough for me!” folks. They are the reason black people are and will keep getting killed in the streets. In fact, the Obama defenders are on the front line of white supremacy.

  5. Sylvia Martinez on June 28, 2015 at 9:55 am

    #‎FreeBree‬ ‪#‎PardonBreeNewsome‬ ‪#‎MichealMoore‬ ‪#‎PardonJamesTysonBlack‬ ‪#‎FreeJames‬ ‪#‎TakeItDown‬ ‪#‎KeepItDown‬ ‪#‎ConfederateRag‬ ‪#‎Charleston9

    • Am I Weevil? on June 29, 2015 at 3:03 am

      Can you type without a hashtag?

  6. Chuck1938 on June 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

    We will never run out of Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman’s. Nanny or Mariana Grajales until justice prevails for all.

  7. SocraticGadfly on June 28, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    I’m glad she’s musically talented. I’m sad that she made her religious beliefs, seemingly, a very concentrated drive for doing this. Even back in the original civil rights era, not all of it was driven by religious types.

    • Kelli Gardner Bell on June 28, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      . . . declared the jackass who has apparently never heard of the icon of the Civic Rights Movement, the REVEREND Martin Luther King.

      • SocraticGadfly on June 29, 2015 at 12:13 am

        Declared the asshole who didn’t clearly read what I wrote, who believes that King was the whole civil rights movement, and apparently never heard of A. Phillip Randolph.



      • Tiffany Married Williamson on June 29, 2015 at 9:27 pm


    • Aaaaaaaaaaaargh on June 29, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      I’m puzzled by your complaint. I, for one, am overjoyed to see religious people finding inspiration in their beliefs to struggle for justice and human rights rather than in favour of reactionary causes. So many people are exerting effort with bigoted or frankly evil results (take the people whining about the flag displayed in your profile picture and everything it symbolizes) that I’m far less concerned with ideological purity or whether motives are “religious” or “rational” if the results are just. As some religious type once said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Or must people striving for the good, with similar or parallel goals, be divided because they justify those goals differently?

      • SocraticGadfly on June 29, 2015 at 9:58 pm

        If she’s had one or two “thank Jesus” comments, it might have been one thing. But, chanting bible verses like a self-hypnotic mantra? It made me doubtful that she, like the other person to respond to me earlier, even has room in her worldview for secularist civil rights activists.

        I have room for religious civil rights activists in my worldview, but I expect the religious to have room for people like me, too.

        I also “expect” the religious to be properly informed about people like me, or A. Philip Randolph, too.

        • L.J. on July 1, 2015 at 3:45 am

          It was a comfort and call to action to many in the traumatized African-American community, which is heavily religious and resonated to the words. It was probably a comfort to Ms. Newsome herself, too, here she is a black woman who is being arrested after taking down a symbol of white power in a state with a brutal record against blacks and especially black women. Do you really begrudge them that, after what was suffered, after what she did? Do you really think this is about you?

    • L.J. on July 1, 2015 at 3:40 am

      Not everyone has to be or is motivated by religion, but clearly Ms. Newsome is and nothing’s wrong with that. Her expression of religious faith is not a denial or erasure of those who don’t share it, and it says more about you than her that you take it as such.

  8. enochmubarak on June 28, 2015 at 6:33 pm


    No doubt that the black woman has helped tremendously by taking direct action that lifts the spirits and morale of black people worldwide.

    In real-time the black woman by her courageous act heals and restores sisters holding down on the front-line of the African Americans existence. These sisters are hardened, burdened, burned out, exhausted and they need to know and hear that somebody knows they are there.

    In real-time the black woman demonstrated that Black power is not based on black nationalistic interpretations of text and religion nor on the laymen explications of ancestral expectation emanating forth from the divine mind.

    The black woman showed the world that Black power is evidenced from real time front-line casualties that consist of flesh, bone, spirit, blood sweat and tears. The strategy is to out-smart, out-think, out-maneuver the adversary and the sister demonstrated the first principle in the art of war is to win without fighting and in any war the moment you take down the other teams, enemy, adversary or nemesis flag…you win.

    Certainly they put the flag back up but putting the flag back up does nothing to erase the historical fact that no one can ever say that it never happened….

    We beat them by showing them …take it down or else we will take it down for you.

  9. Truth Baboon on June 29, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Amnesty? Please. You can’t just go around destroying property, regardless of your beliefs. She’s not promoting racial equality, she’s promoting anarchy.

    • Crow on December 19, 2016 at 10:08 am

      Equality = anarchy? Who knew,lol..