Question Bridge: Black Males is a project that critically explores challenging issues within the black male community by instigating a transmedia conversation among black men across the geographic, economic, generational, educational, and social strata of American society. Question Bridge provides a safe setting for necessary, honest expression and healing dialogue on themes that divide, unite, and puzzle black males in the United States.
Question Bridge originated in 1996, when artist Chris Johnson was looking for a way to use media art to generate a meaningful conversation around class and generational divisions within San Diego's African American community. Mediated through the lens of a video camera, ten members of the black community were given a format to openly express their deeply felt beliefs and values through candid question and answer exchanges. None of the questions or answers were prompted. A decade later, Hank Willis Thomas approached Johnson about collaborating to establish a similar project focused on Black men. Over the past four years, Johnson, along with Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair, have traveled the nation collecting questions and answers from over 150 Black men in eleven cities including: New York, Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, Birmingham, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Philadelphia. The resulting video project contains of over 1,500 exchanges. By focusing on exchanges within this extended community, surprising insights and new possibilities for witnessing our common humanity emerge.
Question Bridge: Black Males provides multiple entry-points for black men to contribute to the conversation and develop a group generated identity map that represents and redefines Black male identity in America. The project invites the public to explore and engage the Question Bridge project through multiple live and virtual platforms: an interactive website, a mobile app, geolocative interactive hotspots, gallery kiosks, live events and dialogues, a Question Bridge Curriculum for high schools, viral video of question/answer exchanges, and mobile device enabled street teams.
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