Bree Newsome Bass
Quick Look at Bass
Brittany "Bree" Newsome Bass is a true hero, and a living legend, best known for climbing a 30-foot flag pole and removing a confederate flag, waving in the wind outside of Columbia, South Carolina's Capitol building.
Bree Newsome Bass was born Brittany Ann Byuariam Newsome in 1985, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Not too long after, her family moved to Columbia, Maryland where she would grow up. At just seven years old, Bass learned to play the piano, writing her first piece of music not long after learning. Two years later, at the age of nine, Bass wrote her first play. Her father is a part of many activism organizations and is nationally recognized as a scholar in the religious history of African Americans and how it impacted social justice movements. Her mother was an educator who focused on improving minority achievement gaps in schools. They were likely the foundation for her career in activism. Bass attended Oakland Mills High School in Howard County, Maryland, where she continued to excel in school and display many gifts and talents. At the age of 18, Bass entered and won a short film competition, earning her a $40,000 scholarship to college from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, a film school in Los Angeles, California. Bass used her scholarship to attend Tisch School of the Arts, New York University's film school. During her senior year in college, she made a film called "Wake," which became a finalist for the Wasserman Award, a famous film award with former recipients including Spike Lee and other talented filmmakers.
Bass focused on activism in her films, and also took part in many social justice marches following the unjust killing of multiple Black people. On June 27, 2015, Bree Newsome Bass waited until the police had turned their attention away from a flagpole that stood in front of South Carolina's Capitol building, and when she was ready, she climbed the 30-foot flagpole and removed the Confederate battle flag that had been waving in the wind. Newsome was arrested, but after her brave actions became known nationwide, the state permanently removed the flag. Her courageous actions took place as a result of a tragic incident that happened 10 days earlier. 9 African Americans were shot and killed in a historically Black church in Charleston, South Carolina. She worked with 10 other people to plan and film her removal of the flag to make an impact. Over $80,000 was crowdfunded for Bass's bail after the hashtag #FreeBree went viral. Over $125,000 was raised on Indiegogo, resulting in Bass being released from jail. Since then, Bass has written many powerful award-winning films that display her passion for activism and filmmaking, including "Rise Up and Go." a public summit that covered slavery and freedom in America and was held at the site of Thomas Jefferson's former plantation. The summit lasted four days, and it truly gave a powerful perspective to such topics.
Brittany "Bree" Newsome Bass is a living legend who is currently working on a project in NC called IgniteNC, where she is uplifting, rebuilding, and supporting under-resourced communities. Newsome continues to make a huge impact in America, and we are better for it.