Meet Bri of Moon and CheezeAmplify
Welcome to amplify – a new monthly series. Each month, we will interview a different black creator or businesses owner and share more about his or her brand and experience. We couldn’t be more excited and eager to learn and bring awareness and diversity into this space.
Meet Bri – she’s a wife, she’s a mother, she’s a creator and she’s been one me and my team’s greatest lights and inspirations.
1. How are you feeling and how do you find yourself coping with everything going on? Honestly, the main emotion has been overwhelmed. It feels like it’s all happening at once. I’ve just been working through the different stages of grief. Some days I’m feeling angry, some days I’m really happy, some days I’m sad. Some days I accept everything. It feels like all of a sudden, everyone wants to jump on this train to battle racism which is awesome, but I also find myself asking, “where where you when I was a teenager” For so long, I felt like I was going through this alone. And now people want to listen and help and so it’s overwhelming. It’s also been very positive. I’ve spent so many years pouring into my business and now all of a sudden people are taking notice. But then I go back to the question, why now? It makes me nervous…why now is my work being taken seriously in my industry?
2. How do you approach the topic of racism with you own children? I think it’s important to start with the topic really young. In our family, we talk about what colors we are. I’m black, her father’s white. We celebrate our differences and allow that to unite us. I also incorporate literature and read about different races. With my eldest, we’ve started reading about racism and slavery. It’s hard to explain that to her sometimes…that people may just not like us because of our skin color. It’s hard. But if you’e silent, it perpetuates it. And then how can you ever fix the problem?
“If you’e silent, it perpetuates it. And then how can you ever fix the problem?”
3. What has your experience been being a black woman being married to a white man? We have been together for a decade. With Trayvon Martin’s death, we were forced to address real race issues. What has helped our relationship the most is being able to talk about it. I am a black women so I will have hurts when I talk about white people. To be married to someone, I have to be able to express those things – and he has accepted that. Being married to a white man has strengthened my blackness and allowed me to understand both the white and black perspectives. Our relationship has been hard but the most important thing for us has to been to focus on our love. And we have to be open and candid about how we feel.
4. How do you feel when someone says “I choose not to see color” or “I’m color blind?” Do you find it helpful or hurtful? Hurtful – and I only just recently became aware of the hurt that not seeing color could cause. I realized the reason it felt uncomfortable to me is that it felt dismissive. If you don’t see color, you don’t see me. You don’t see my experience. It’s meant as a phrase of peace but there can be no peace until everyone is seen.
“If you don’t see color, you don’t see me. You don’t see my experience. It’s meant as a phrase of peace but there can be no peace until everyone is seen.”
5. How old are you babies and what are their names? My eldest is two – her name is Luna. My other daughter, Diana is 11mo old. I’ve always been obsessed with Roman gods and goddesses so that’s where I got the inspiration for their names.
6. When did you start creating? I’ve been creating my entire life. I went to SCAD for photography and when I was there I thought I would get into weddings – I’ve always been into romance and fashion so it seemed like the right fit.
7. How have you seen your art evolve? Once COVID happened, events were cancelled and I was stripped of the idea that weddings were the only way I could create. So I began to look inside myself and how I could create, and really began to set myself free. I come from a very protective family so creating these photos and putting them out into the world was a way for me to do that. The response has been wild. I never really had the time to focus on myself or other avenues of my creativity, but because of COVID, I couldn’t shoot and I was stuck at home. I was forced to try new ways to express myself. So I went to my normal medium – photography – and thought to myself, what boundaries will I break for myself today?
“What boundaries will I break for myself today?”
8. What do you think it means to be an ally? To me, rather than centering yourself in the problem an ally acknowledges there is a problem and the role you might play in it.
9. What’s something you hope people learn from this time? It’s SO important to speak up. Remaining silent is silence. One of the biggest problems we’ve had is making racism a taboo subject. If we don’t address it we can’t fix it. We have to speak up because speaking up makes real change.
“Remaining silent is silence.”
10. What’s something you’ve learned about yourself during this time? Living my truth and sharing my truth can really really help other people.