Activist Bree Newsome Releases First Statement After Confederate Flag Takedown

Activist and filmmaker Bree Newsome garnered national attention when she climbed a flagpole and too...


Activist and filmmaker Bree Newsome garnered national attention when she climbed a flagpole and took down the Confederate Flag flying above the South Carolina statehouse. Newsome made the daring feat the morning of June 27, 2015. Two days later, she has made the first statement about her iconic act and subsequent arrest.


I removed the flag not only in defiance of those who enslaved my ancestors in the southern United States, but also in defiance of the oppression that continues against black people globally in 2015, including the ongoing ethnic cleansing in the Dominican Republic. I did it in solidarity with the South African students who toppled a statue of the white supremacist, colonialist Cecil Rhodes. I did it for all the fierce black women on the front lines of the movement and for all the little black girls who are watching us. I did it because I am free.

To all those who might label me an “outside agitator,” I say to you that humanitarianism has no borders. I am a global citizen. My prayers are with the poor, the afflicted and the oppressed everywhere in the world, as Christ instructs. If this act of disobedience can also serve as a symbol to other peoples’ struggles against oppression or as a symbol of victory over fear and hate, then I know all the more that I did the right thing.

Read her full statement on Blue Nation Review.

Joneka Percentie is a junior studying Communications, Africana Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies. When she is not working as an editorial assistant with For Harriet, she enjoys blogging for SPARK, singing, dancing, tweeting @jpercentie, eating, and sleeping. E-mail her at joneka.percentie@forharriet.com



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