When Bree Newsome ascended a 30-foot South Carolina Capitol flagpole and removed the Confederate flag blowing in the wind, she did more than just literally take matters into her own hands. The 30-year-old woman became an eternal symbol for Black activism.
Rapper Lecrae, in New Orleans for his first ESSENCE Fest as a performer, saluted her audacity.
“Anger and passion drive us to do things that we feel are necessary,” the 35-year-old rapper said.
“The motive and the action was brave, courageous. It’s unfortunate that we’ll see all this happen and probably none of it will end up in the history books. The kids won’t read about it. Bree’s name should be in a book somewhere in light of all that’s happened.”
In Bree, Lecrae cited resilience and strength as some of the qualities that make Black women special.
“They’ve been through a lot, historically having to assume the role of a leader because of how slavery and segregation had pushed Black male leadership to the side,” said Lecrae of why Black girls rock. “And even now, how they’re consistently misogynized and talked about like objects. They still resiliently fight to stand apart.”
Lecrae kicked off ESSENCE Fest 2015 on July 2 with an opening performance for Trey Songz and Kevin Hart at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.