To Empower Disempowered People

breeFrom an Essence interview with Bree Newsome, who scaled the flagpole of injustice in Charleston. She is a member of the Tribe, a small group of protestors in Charlotte.

An activist named Heather flew down from New York to train me. We went to a park and practiced on lampposts, basketball hoops, and then I got to practice on one flagpole. The very first attempt I made…I was just completely winded, thinking, I don’t know how I can climb 30 feet. Once I got the rhythm of it, it was fine. It’s actually more leg strength than arm strength…

What we’re really hoping to do with Tribe and other local organizations is to develop a model for sustainable change and organization. We’re facing a lot of crisis. We don’t see action happening nationally for our lower-income communities here in Charlotte. We can come together as citizens to empower disempowered people who don’t have the agency to do this. It’s not going to be just one person changing the world.

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