Bree Newsome hosted a discussion about activism in the Denman on Feb. 26. An outspoken activist, Newsome is most notable for removing a confederate flag from a South Carolina government building in 2015. Presented by the African American Studies Program and the Department of Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the event was part of a series of events in celebration of Black History Month.
The event began with young poets Kirian Kuti and Michael Wilson performing “Metamorphosis,” an original poem by Kuti, and “Since You Finally Asked” by Nikki Giovanni. Newsome followed their performances by speaking about her background as an activist. She began mindful activism seven years ago but remembered always pushing for social change. Her propensity for standing up for what is right has lived with her as long as she can remember, but she had to learn how to do so in a way that would benefit the people around her.
“Just because there is order doesn’t mean there is peace.”
Later Newsome created an intimate atmosphere as she called the audience to make a circle and introduce themselves. The main idea of her discussion was that social activism, like nonviolent protests, is meticulous and should be planned. According to Newsome, the point of activism is to expose groups and individuals who are violent. She continued her point by emphasizing the true nature of our society.
“Just because there is order doesn’t mean there is peace,” Newsome said.
Throughout her discussion, Newsome reiterated that nonviolent protests are a means of creating a visual demonstration that causes tension. The tension then forces people to confront the issue at hand. With this observation, Newsome proved that activism has the ability to create moral clarity. To her, moral clarity means the people of society can rely on themselves to find the meaning behind social activism and hopefully carry on with their own forms of activism that cater to their communities. Additionally, Newsome shared her own story about nonviolent protests.
“I took down the South Carolina confederate flag in 2015 by scaling the flagpole,” Newsome said. The discussion served as an educational environment and a safe space for Roadrunners to learn about activism, protests and moral clarity.
Using her filmmaking degree to further her activism, Newsome is working on a documentary that unpacks social injustices in Charlotte, North Carolina.