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Frank Stasio's Fondest Shows: Meet Bree Newsome, Who Removed South Carolina’s Confederate Flag

A Black woman with braids and a colorful collar necklace smiles, looking off camera.
Courtesy of Bree Newsome Bass
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Bree Newsome Bass is a community organizer and activist from Charlotte.

Activist Bree Newsome Bass gained national attention in the summer of 2015 when she was arrested for scaling the flagpole at the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, and removing the Confederate flag. The act of civil disobedience took place in the wake of the killing of nine African-American people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

While Newsome Bass continues to engage in political activism in Charlotte, N.C., her roots are in the creative arts. As a kid growing up in Columbia, Maryland, Newsome Bass started composing songs when she was seven years old. She eventually became a filmmaker and grappled with social issues through her work.

Today she lives in Charlotte and is a community organizer working with several groups. Frank says he remembers this 2017 conversation well "for the way Bree was able to chart her own growth as an artist and an activist and to understand the unique and at the same time inseparable roles each play in the development of an individual and a community."

View the complete list of Frank’s fondest shows airing December 2020.

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.