Question Bridge assembles a series of questions posed to black men, by and for other black men, along with the corresponding responses and portraits of the participants. The questions range from the comic to the sublimely philosophical: from “Am I the only one who has problems eating chicken, watermelon, and bananas in front of white people?” to “Why is it so difficult for black American men in this culture to be themselves, their essential selves, and remain who they truly are?” The answers tackle the issues that continue to surround black male identity today in a uniquely honest, no-holds-barred manner. While the ostensible subject is black men, the conversation that evolves in these pages is ultimately about the nature of living in a post-Obama, post-Ferguson, post–Voting Rights Act America. Question Bridge is about who we are and what we mean to one another. Most critically, it asks: how can we start to dismantle the myths and misconceptions that have evolved around race and gender in America—how can we reset the narrative about ourselves?
The founding artists, along with contributions from Ambassador Andrew Young, Jesse Williams, Rashid Shabazz, and Delroy Lindo, will introduce and contextualize the body of the work and provide closing remarks on our current and future social climate.
Question Bridge: Black Males is an innovative, transmedia project that uses video to facilitate a conversation among black men from diverse backgrounds. Originally created by Chris Johnson in 1996, the project was revived by Hank Willis Thomas, Kamal Sinclair, and Bayeté Ross Smith who filmed over 150 black men in nine American cities, each of whom asked questions and answered those posed by other black men. This content was used to create a five-screen video installation that has been exhibited at over thirty-five institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum; Oakland Museum of California; Birmingham Museum of Art; Cleveland Museum of Art; Milwaukee Art Museum; California African American Museum, Los Angeles; DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago; Exploratorium, San Francisco; Missouri History Museum, St. Louis; Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture, Charlotte, NC; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; and New Frontier exhibition at Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah. The Question Bridge Project includes various platforms, an interactive website and mobile app, as well as community roundtable conversations and a curriculum designed for high school learners. - Aperture