Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Artists explain why Bree Newsome became an Internet superhero after taking down SC's Confederate flag

By Jared Goyette


Bree Newsome became an Internet and media sensation when she did what many were longing to do but didn’t dare. She scaled a flagpole outside South Carolina's statehouse and brought the flag down, while police officers waited to arrest her below.

Her actions, and the instantly iconic photos that accompanied them, inspired scores of retweets, headlines, conversations and debates. They also inspired artists.

“Seeing her do that, and then when she came down and they were putting her in custody and she had a smile on her face because she knew she was doing the right thing, it touched me, so I was like I had to do something about that,” says Niall-Julian Watkins, a 25-year-old illustrator who lives in Oak Grove, Kentucky.

A single image fundamentally changed the national debate over the Confederate flag and its meaning: Dylann Roof posing with it before he went on his murderous, racist rampage. The photos of Newsome, taken by James Tyson, captured the nation’s attention in a different way. Both Newsome and Tyson are facing charges of defacing a public monument and could spend up to three years in jail, if convicted....


Read more here: PRI

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