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  • Artist Rebecca Cohen illustrated Brittany ‘Bree’ Newsome as Super Woman

    Artist Rebecca Cohen illustrated Brittany ‘Bree’ Newsome as Super Woman | Photo: Twitter | Rebecca Cohen ‏(@GynoStar)

Published 30 June 2015

Brittany ‘Bree’ Newsome has inspired artists to become new superhero. 

After black educator Brittany ‘Bree’ Newsome was arrested last week for scaling a pole and taking down the Confederate flag that hung over South Carolina’s capitol, she quickly became a social media sensation, inspiring artists to portray her as a modern day superhero.

 

 

“The photos of her were already iconic and historical in nature, everyone recognized that immediately. I was using the wonder woman iconography because it immediately invokes a whole number of ideas,” Feminist artist Rebecca Cohen told Public Radio International

“I liked the immediate associations invoked by the Wonder Woman iconography — the all-Americanness, the feminism, empowered women. All of that stuff sort of comes together really crispy with Wonder Woman. I like the idea of blending that established character with this sort of real-life superhero.”

 

The flag’s removal was a deliberate action by a group of teachers and activists amid a heated debate about the flag’s historical legacy of racism, intensified by a racially-motivated terror attack that killed 9 Black people at a historic African-American church in South Carolina June 18. 

RELATED: SayHerName: Highlighting Police Killings of Black Women

Newsome’s arrest sparked a social media campaign and a petition, under the name “Free Bree,” calling for her release.

The Confederate flag’s famous take-down also inspired a ‘Super Mario’ videogame, in which the character removes the Confederate flag and lifts the LGBT rainbow one. 

In an exclusive statement released to Blue Nation Review, Newsome said she “removed the flag not only in defiance of those who enslaved my ancestors in the southern United States, but also in defiance of the oppression that continues against black people globally in 2015, including the ongoing ethnic cleansing in the Dominican Republic.”
 
“I did it in solidarity with the South African students who toppled a statue of the white supremacist, colonialist Cecil Rhodes,” she continued “I did it for all the fierce black women on the front lines of the movement and for all the little black girls who are watching us. I did it because I am free.”
 
Artist Quinn McGowan also honored ‘Bree’ with an illustration. "She became a mythical figure right before my eyes and that's what I wanted to convey," he told PRI.
 
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