National Women’s Day: Bree Newsome

The confederate battle flag was not just the banner flown by an army fighting for the right to own black people, it was also the banner that was revived and waved by those who opposed desegregation and civil rights.Bree

In honor of the centennial celebration of the Civil War in 1961, South Carolina decided to raise the confederate battle flag over the state house. No black people were on the commission that made that decision.

Not only were they not on that commission, but South Carolina did not allow any black people to participate in their hosting of the national festivities. JFK tried to force the South Carolinians by moving the festivities to an integrated Navy base in Charleston, but the white people led a walk out and held their own official celebration in a segregated hotel. In that celebration Strom Thurmond gave a speech saying integration was evil and that the US Constitution never promised racial equality.

That is when that flag went up on the South Carolina capitol building. Black people (and some allies) have been asking for that flag to come down ever since. Those in authority continually refused.

On June 17th, 2015 a white supremacist murdered 9 black worshipers in a Charleston church. In the subsequent outcry against violent racism, there was some talk of the flag coming down. Those in authority thought they might allow it.

On June 27, 2015 a full 54 years after that flag went up, a black woman named Bree Newsome climbed the 30 foot flag pole and tore the flag down in defiance of the police who waited below to arrest her. She refused to wait for some democratic action to recognize her humanity when God had granted it from birth.

She was of course arrested when she came back down.

On July 9th the SC House of Representatives voted to remove the confederate battle flag in some seemingly gracious act of conciliation. It was an act that came not only 23 days too late, but 54 years overdue.

Bree, in her act of theater, gave America a symbol illustrating  bravery and self determination in blackness.

Here is my nod to you Bree Newsome.2

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3 Comments

Filed under events, history, people

3 responses to “National Women’s Day: Bree Newsome

  1. Thank you Dalyn for your tribute to Bree Newsome and to recognizing National Women’s Day. Wonderful painting and tribute to a heroic woman. I’m in awe of her strength and bravery! I am also glad that she wasn’t shot by the police. If it was a black man who climbed the flag pole we can’t know if he would have come down safely.

  2. dharmakarmaarts

    Beautiful painting that captures the essence of Bree and the spirit of her action luminously. Btw, your sister Lyric pointed your site to me.

  3. uglyblackjohn

    Your best painting by far – and I like A LOT of your paintings.
    Dude – submit that for something,
    Or donate it.
    That would make a great poster.

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