Bree Newsome Speaks: “I Did It Because I Am Free”

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.

This is only a brief paragraph of a much larger statement Bree Newsome gave exclusively to Blue Nation Review, explaining the reasons behind her decision to climb atop the flag pole at South Carolina’s statehouse and remove the Confederate flag. “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 yelled, as she took down the flag, ignoring police officers’ orders to come down. She, as well her white male accomplice, James Ian Tyson, were immediately arrested and charged with defacing a monument.

Newsome, 30, in addition to being a real life super hero, is an activist, filmmaker, and musician – and, I would add, writer, if the beauty and power in her statement is any indication.  [Blue Nation Review]