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Early on Saturday morning, the activist and filmmaker scaled a metal rod at the state house to remove the Confederate Flag that has for too long flown there. Driven to act (and to acrobatics) in the aftermath of the Charleston massacre that killed nine, Newsome defied police commands to back down and was arrested on the spot.

Newsome spoke out on Monday in a statement to Blue Nation Review in which she declared that “now is the time for true courage.”

Of “the emblem of the confederacy, the stars and bars,” Newsome wrote: “It’s the banner of racial intimidation and fear whose popularity experiences an uptick whenever black Americans appear to be making gains economically and politically in this country. It’s a reminder how, for centuries, the oppressive status quo has been undergirded by white supremacist violence with the tacit approval of too many political leaders.”

“I know my history and my heritage,” Newsome continued. “The southern heritage I embrace is the legacy of a people unbowed by racial oppression. It includes towering figures of the Civil Rights Movement like Ida B. Wells, Martin Luther King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, and Ella Baker. It includes the many people who rarely make the history books but without whom there is no movement. It includes pillars of the community like Rev. Clementa Pinckney and Emmanuel AME Church.”

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