Activist and filmmaker Bree Newsome became a national hero when she took down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina statehouse last Saturday. Now, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, has compared Bree to Rosa Parks.
In a statement filled with praise, Barber said:
“[Newsome] stands in a long tradition … Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and more recently hundreds of protesters in Moral Monday … were all considered, at first, criminals for their acts of conscience,” he said. “We stand in solidarity with her, and the deep commitment which she has to justice, love, and true inter-racial community. We stand with her as she is our family.”
“The flag is vulgar. Its removal is not only a small step, but an important symbolic one. Its vulgarity and representation of the racist, immoral defense of all slavery and Jim Crow not only should come down, but should have never been put up,” Barber wrote.
Newsome has a history of activism and protesting. She was one of six arrested in a protest against voter ID laws and participated in a sit-in at the statehouse. But when she took to the flagpole in full climbing gear, she captured the nation’s attention.
Bree has spoken for the first time since her fearless act of civil disobedience. She released statement exclusively to Blue Nation Review, saying:
“The day after the massacre I was asked what the next step was and I said I didn’t know. We’ve been here before and here we are again: black people slain simply for being black; an attack on the black church as a place of spiritual refuge and community organization. I refuse to be ruled by fear. How can America be free and be ruled by fear? How can anyone be?”