Activist Bree Newsome speaks at FAU

Newsome is best known for removing a Confederate flag from its pole at the South Carolina State House in 2015.

Newsome spoke on decolonization, or the process of returning what was lost to marginalized communities due to oppression. Photo courtesy of Newsomes Instagram

Newsome spoke on “decolonization,” or the process of returning what was lost to marginalized communities due to oppression. Photo courtesy of Newsome’s Instagram

Ariana Anderson, Contributing Writer

Over 100 people gathered in the University Theatre to listen in on the ideologies of activist, speaker, filmmaker, and musician Brittany “Bree” Newsome last Saturday.

The event was a part of “Visualizing Decolonization,” a new string of events at FAU that are meant to examine and return what has been taken from marginalized communities over centuries of oppression, according to FAU. To Newsome, decolonizing America is an “all hands on deck issue.”

She came into the spotlight in June 2015 when she was arrested for climbing up a 30-foot flagpole and removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House.

After removing the flag, “I knew I had become part of something much greater than myself,” she said.

Newsome also said that when a civilization is built on colonization, the process of decolonization is often deemed illegal. She believes this is the reason behind the government’s historical hesitance to de-segregation — and the reason behind her arrest after she removed the Confederate flag from its pole. 

But she plans to push forward nontheless. Her main goal in decolonizing America is to “move the universal struggle of humanity toward a society that is truly free, and that truly recognizes the rights of all individuals,” she said.

Some audience members connected with this message, believing that it might be possible after all.

“I’m here to entertain the thought that one might be able to make a noticeable difference in the world we live in,” freshmen Vera Kimball, who attended the event, said.

The speech also paid its respects to Martin Luther King Jr., as it was held a few days before King’s national holiday.

Newsome began her speech with quote from him:  “Noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.”

And she concluded her speech by saying that “Courage is something that we must summon when fear strikes.”

You can find more information about the upcoming events of Visualizing Decolonization here.

Ariana Anderson is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].