One: What is your name and where are you located?
B: My name is Bri. I am located in Saint Louis, MO.
Two: What do you feel is your calling in life?
B: I’m not sure if I buy into the idea that you only have one calling in life, but as of right now, I feel my purpose is to speak out on the many injustices that exist within our society today. I feel compelled to uplift black women in a way that is genuine, while keeping our best interests at heart. My efforts will either serve as a voice to the voiceless, or to amplify the voices of those often casted aside as expendable.
Three: When did you realize your self-worth and how has the journey of self-discovery been for you? What have you learned the most about yourself?
B: Unfortunately, my anxiety and depression makes it quite difficult for me to accept that I am worthy of respect, love, and compassion. I have battled internal feelings of worthlessness my entire life. So this journey to loving myself, flaws and all, has been challenging to say the least. Most days I feel as if I’m losing the fight, but I never give up. I've learned that no matter what my inner insecurities tell me, I can accomplish amazing goals. No matter how ambitious or seemingly impossible, I can do it. This realization has been incredibly liberating.
Four: How has your struggles helped you to become a better woman?
B: Overall, my struggles have taught me to accept people where they are. To acknowledge that everyone’s experiences, mindset, and beliefs are determined by their access to resources. I've realized that it is more effective to extend compassion - especially to oppressed peoples - than to offer judgment.
Five: Who or what motivates you to create?
B: The birth of my daughter solidified my need to create black feminist material. Looking at her face every day, I know I must make this world a better place for her. The world is not a kind or nurturing place for black girls. Because of her, I seek to change that.
Six: What is your long time passion in life?
B: Since childhood, visual art has always played a significant role in my life. When I was in elementary school, instead of playing outside, I would sit in my room and compose comic books complete with original characters and unique superpowers. In middle school, I’d design dresses (with outrageous price-tags lol) in hopes of becoming a fashion designer in the future. When I was 15, my grandmother purchased me my first DSLR camera. I. Was. Hooked. My extreme passion for photography eventually developed into videography with a focus on creating educational internet content. Now almost 10 years later, I am looking into creating films!
Seven: If you could give any tips or advice to young girls and women around the world who suffer with loving and accepting who they are, what would you say?
B: Realize that you are one of a kind. There is no need to look over into someone else’s lane wishing you has what they do. You are on a unique journey of your own. The only person you should seek to be better than, is the person you were yesterday. Also, know that you are complete on your own; as is. Those voices in your head that tell you are not good enough are lying, do not listen! You are enough. You are worthy. You can do this.
Eight: What do you feel needs to be told to our beautiful women of color? Do you feel the we women of color hear those words often? If not, what can we do as a community to change that…
B: We need to teach WOC, especially black women, that it is okay to prioritize yourself. Honestly, it is imperative in order to unlearn all of the harmful tropes/ideologies that say otherwise. WOC are always expected to mule for everyone else. We are never told it is okay to concentrate on self-care. As a community, I believe we need to confront misogyny that exists deep within us all. We must relinquish the idea that our purpose in life is to be a wife or mother of someone else. We need to respect the humanity of women starting from a very young age. Meaning we have to reprogram our very way of thinking. As a community, we have to collectively refuse to consume media that teaches us that we are inferior in one way or another. We have to support each other in all our endeavors for the betterment of WOC. Ultimately, the sooner we accept women for who they are without the pressure to conform to our ideas of respectability, the sooner all of us will be free. In other words, do it for the culture.
Any social media handles + links that you'd like to share? If so, please do not hesitate to do so.
B: You can find me all over the internet @philogynoir. Be sure to check out my web series, Philogynoir, that discusses the intersection between race and sex told specifically from a black feminist perspective. For further contact, shoot me an email at email@example.com.