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How Bree Newsome Allowed Me to Breathe (When Nothing Else Did)


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How Bree Newsome Allowed Me to Breathe (When Nothing Else Did)

Tanya Steele

On Friday, June 24, I turned on my television to watch the funeral for Reverend Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine people shot dead at the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina.

President Obama sang “Amazing Grace” at a time when many in the nation are mourning not only for the lost lives of the Emanuel 9, but the loss of black life that is stitched into the fabric of this country.


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Bree Newsome, for a few glorious moments, allowed us all to breathe the same air. Fervor, commitment, the deep-seated need to remedy things, and the faith to move mountains, still exist. In these awful, jaded days, Bree has reenergized my hope and Tanya has given it a voice.