Flag-remover Bree Newsome's song for freedom fighters

Newsome arrested after removing Confederate flag from South Carolina courthouse, June 27.

African American activist Bree Newsome made world headlines on June 27 when she scaled the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Statehouse and removed the Confederate flag. Arrested for her efforts, the flag was raised an hour later — but the powerful image went global. Newsome is also a filmmaker and musician. Below are the words to a rap song she wrote last year after the police murder of unarmed Black youth Michael Brown in Ferguson.

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#StayStrong: A Love Song to Freedom Fighters

Weighing heavy on my mind
Tryna find that word to define how I feel
Cause every time I recline
Something goes down to remind me the dream ain’t real
And it’s jolting to me
to realise all the lies
it’s insulting to me
But that’s the burden of the young, black and gifted
tryna stay lifted
in a world that keeps us stinted
just cause we pigmented
They say go be exceptional
and professional
but them khakis can’t fix
what is institutional
So we say bump it
Cause we ain’t got no time for no summit
They tryna wipe us out
cause they don’t want no real republic
and when we broach the subject
they try to deflect
Drag a name through the mud
they ain’t got no respect
and yet
you want me to respect authority
It don’t make you right just cause you majority
Y’all be quoting King while you pushing a button
to drop some bombs on some babies like you ain’t doing nothing
that’s why you ain't got no jurisdiction with me
can’t handcuff knowledge, so Ms Bree stay free
I went through college, in the hood I be
spreading love to my brothers and my sister I keep.

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