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Brittany 'Bree' Newsome
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Advocate
    (February 24, 1993- )
    Born in Charlotte, North Carolina
    Birth name is Brittany Ann Byuarium Newsome
    Civil rights activist, independent filmmaker, and artist
    Won a Black Reel Award and a BET Urban World Film Festival prize for her film 'Wake' (2012)
    Arrested in Columbia, South Carolina for removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state house grounds (Jun. 27, 2015)
    Act of civil disobedience was committed in direct response to the Charleston Massacre by Dylann Roof at the Emmanuel Baptist Church on June 17, 2015
    Resulting publicity from the arrest is strongly believed to have influenced the South Carolina state legislature to vote for the official removal of the flag from state house grounds (Jul. 10, 2015)
    Her actions were deemed counterproductive by some civil rights leaders.
    The flag was raised again not forty five minutes after the stunt.
    Michael Moore offered to pay her bail and legal fees after she was charged with defacing public property for removing the flag.
    She was arrested for protesting North Carolina's passage of several controversial voter ID laws (July, 2013).
    She first gained national attention in 2012, mocking Mitt Romney in a music video called 'Shake it Like An Etch-e-Sketch.'
    She claimed her experience as a black woman working in the horror/sci-fi genres inspired her to become an activist.
    The president of her local NAACP chapter compared her to Rosa Parks (that one time Rosa got out of work and decided to take a stand by donning a helmet and harness to scale a Montgomery flagpole - said no one ever!)
    Her actions brought on slews of bizarre fan art of varying quality; including several depicting her in a Wonder Woman outfit.
    Considering that Gov. Nikki Haley had publicly called for the removal of the flag five days prior to Newsome's act, some observers not invested in the 'flag debate' merely mistook her on the news for a state worker removing the flag in accordance with the Governor's wishes, failing to realize the incident's total lack of precedence.
    She was a classically trained pianist by the age of seven.
    She is a huge fan of Sci-Fi author, Octavia Butler, and claimed to have grown up always with one of her books nearby.
    She is a gifted vocalist who has covered Beyoncé songs as the lead singer for the musical group, 'Powerhouse.'
    She had to scale a thirty-foot flagpole in order to forcibly remove the flag from the pole.
    Her actions heavily influenced the decision of the South Carolina legislature on voting to remove the flag. Memes generated noted she did what the entire state's politicians were afraid to do.
    Even many who disagreed with her position on the flag were forced to concede that her actions were kickass.
    She was invited to serve as the first ever Artist-in-Residence at a New York-based global creative communications initiative, Saatchi & Saatchi, in 2011.
    She was awarded the Paderewski Medal from the National Piano Guild, winning a $12,000 scholarship in the vocal arts portion of the Maryland Distinguished Scholars Competition.
    Her independent project, 'Wake,' was screened at the 63rd annual Cannes Film Festival in France.
    When ordered by state officers to come down, she responded, 'In the name of Jesus, this flag has to come down. You come against me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today.'
    Hillary Clinton singled her out for 'shimmying up the flagpole' during a 2016 MLK Day celebration in Charleston; praising South Carolina for 'finally making the right choice' (unenthused activists dryly noted that it took only a little less time than the state for her to 'make the right choice').

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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