Bree Newsome Net Worth
Bree Newsome has an estimated net worth of $3 million. Bree Newsome is an American filmmaker, musician, speaker, and activist. She entered the national spotlight when she climbed a flagpole at the South Carolina Capitol grounds to remove a Confederate battle flag in 2015. She earns most of her income from her movies and music.
Bree Newsome is working to end structural racism and violence against Black bodies. On June 27, 2015, ten days after a white supremacist shot and killed nine Black parishioners at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, Newsome climbed a flagpole on the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol to remove a Confederate battle flag; she was arrested for doing so and became the focus of media attention. As a Christian, Newsome finds that her faith gives her both direction and the strength to do her job.
To calculate the net worth of Bree Newsome, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.
Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:
|Net Worth:||$3 Million|
|Monthly Salary:||$20 Thousand|
|Annual Income:||$400 Thousand|
|Source of Wealth:||Filmmaker, Musician, Speaker|
Brittany Ann Byuarim Newsome was born in Durham, North Carolina in 1985 and raised in a diverse community in Columbia, Maryland. Her father was the dean of Howard University’s School of Divinity (he later became president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center), and her mother was a teacher.
Her parents taught her that if she wanted to be a responsible citizen, she needed to develop political awareness. “The space that exists for many of us, as a young Black girl,” Newsome said on a panel in 2014, “is so extremely limited that you really can’t go very far without being an activist, without being in defiance of something.”
Growing up in the 1990s, Newsome was a fan of Disney movie musicals and studied them to develop her storytelling skills, which she demonstrated when she began writing her own plays. She also showed an early interest in music and was composing by the age of seven, a talent that grew as she progressed through school. (She is related to jazz musician McCoy Tyner, so musical ability appears to run in her family.)
When her school system instituted a “gifted and talented” program for advanced students, Newsome witnessed bigotry in action because she was one of only a few black students in that group – and her mother, an educator, had to push for access.
Under the name Brittany, Newsome was a standout student at Oakland Mills High School, where her interests ranged from school musicals and choir to student politics (she was class president and became student council president her senior year).
While in school, she also made an animated short film called The Three Princes of Idea (which earned her a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences grant). Newsome graduated in 2003.
Newsome then studied film at New York College’s Tisch School of the Arts. There she made an award-winning 20-minute short film, Wake. While studying at the Tisch School of Arts, she also created a commercial called “Your Ballot, Your Voice” to encourage young voters; it won the top prize in a contest held by her school and MTV.
After college, Newsome worked as an artist-in-residence at the New York advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. She also taught high school students in the Bronx for a film program.
Newsome was a member of the funk band Powerhouse and writes songs, some of which incorporate her political and activist interests. She made a popular rap video called “Shake It Like an Etch-a-Sketch” about Mitt Romney and his shift from a hard-right stance in the Republican presidential primary to a more moderate stance in the 2012 election to woo voters.
“Wake,” directed by Bree Newsome, has won numerous awards, including Outstanding Independent Short Film at the 2012 Black Reel Awards and Best Short Film at the BET Urban World Film Festival.
Many film festivals have shown the film, including the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, the New York International Latino Film Festival, and the Montreal International Black Film Festival. Spike Lee was the first African American student to receive the Wasserman Award, and Newsome was the first African American student to be nominated.
Newsome was inspired to become an activist as a black woman working in the horror and science fiction film genres. “There’s so little space that you can’t get very far as a young black girl without being an activist, without taking a stand against something,” she explained at a Spelman College panel discussion in 2014.
Though Newsome marched with Occupy Wall Street, the death of Trayvon Martin, a Black teenager killed in 2012 while walking in his father’s neighborhood, and George Zimmerman’s subsequent acquittal — with a claim of self-defense — in his 2013 trial compelled her to do more.
Among other things, she traveled to Florida to demand justice for Trayvon Martin, marched, and became involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Moral Monday Arrest
Newsome was taken aback when North Carolina’s legislature attempted to restrict voting access (via ID requirements that did not accept student IDs and a reduction in early voting). “It was the attack on voting rights in North Carolina that ‘activated’ me, and I moved from being a sideline supporter to an activist,” she said in 2015.
In 2013, she joined the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina, which brought together people from various groups to protest. In an attempt to confront Thom Tillis, then-Speaker of the North Carolina House, about the voter suppression measures in place, Newsome staged a sit-in at his office. It ended with the arrest of the group, which was Newsome’s first.
Takes Down Flag in South Carolina
On June 27, 2015, Newsome got into climbing gear at the South Carolina Capitol early in the morning. She began ascending the 30-foot flagpole displaying the Confederate flag after receiving a boost from a fellow activist. Despite the fact that police arrived, she successfully removed the flag, saying, “You attack me with hatred, oppression, and violence. In the name of God, I come against you. This flag is being retired today.”
Supporters frequently assert that the Confederate flag honors Southern heritage and soldiers. However, the fact that it is a Confederate symbol makes it a powerful symbol of racism for many, as the Confederacy’s goal in the Civil War was to prevent the abolition of slavery (the four million Black people who were enslaved when the war began had an economic value of about $3 billion to their white “owners”).
When South Carolina outlined its reasons for secession, the document lamented “an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery.” (At the time of the declaration, some of Newsome’s ancestors were held in bondage in South Carolina.)
Pictures of racist Charleston murderer Dylann Roof posing with a Confederate flag were widely circulated, and lawmakers began debating whether to remove the flag after the shooting.
President Barack Obama called for this at the funeral of Reverend Clementa Pinckney, a shooting victim and South Carolina state senator, saying the battle flag served to remind people of “systemic oppression and racial subjugation.” Newsome took action the day after Obama spoke, though plans for what she did were already in the works.
Though she was the one on the flagpole, about ten people collaborated to make Newsome’s feat possible. Because Newsome was one of those physically capable of climbing the flagpole, this group agreed that having a Black woman take down the Confederate symbol would make a powerful statement.
She was then shown how to scale the pole by a Greenpeace activist. Knowing she would be arrested, Newsome braced herself for the possibility that someone would shoot at her while she was exposed in the air.
Following her descent, the police arrested Newsome (along with James Ian Tyson, a white male ally who had assisted her and whose presence demonstrated that people of different races opposed the presence of the flag).
They were released on bail, but she and Tyson were initially charged with misdemeanor defacing a monument on Capitol grounds, which could have resulted in a $5,000 fine and/or a three-year prison sentence. These charges were eventually dropped.
Another Confederate flag was raised less than an hour after Newsome’s removal, just in time for a supporters’ rally. However, legislators eventually voted to remove the flag, and then-Governor Nikki Haley signed legislation authorizing this action. On July 10, 2015, the flag was removed and donated to a museum.
Since 1961, the Confederate flag had been displayed there (the official reason it went up was to commemorate the centennial of the start of the Civil War, but the flag remained aloft as the civil rights movement grew in strength).
Following protests, it was moved away from the dome of South Carolina’s State House and placed next to a soldiers’ monument in 2000. Newsome believes that what she and her group did contributed to the government finally removing the flag.
Newsome’s goal was to advocate for racial justice and equality, but her journey also resulted in her becoming a public figure. Artists portrayed her as a superhero in response to the image of her on the flagpole, people donated to her defense, and she gained a large number of Twitter followers. Celebrities have also expressed their support, with director Ava DuVernay tweeting, “Yes. I’m hoping to get the opportunity to direct a film about a Black superhero I admire. @BreeNewsome is her handle.”
In 2016, Newsome received the NAACP’s Chairman’s Award, which is given to “individuals and organizations who have used their distinct platforms to be agents of change.”
She is able to address various groups due to her elevated profile, including with a talk titled “Tearing Hatred from the Sky.”
Increased awareness of racial injustice is critical for Newsome, who wants more people to try to effect positive change. She wrote in the Washington Post in 2017: “Our country is at a crossroads, with the option of continuing down the same path of systemic racism or confronting our history honestly. It will increasingly be up to ordinary people to do the right thing.”
Personal Life & Husband
Newsome married Marcus Bass in October 2018.
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