Question Bridge: Black Males
Question Bridge: Black Males is an innovative video installation created by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Chris Johnson in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair. The four collaborators spent several years traveling throughout the United States, speaking with 150 Black men living in 11 American cities and towns, including New York, Chicago, Oakland, Birmingham, and New Orleans. From these interviews they created 1,500 video exchanges in which the subjects, representing a range of geographic, generational, economic, and educational strata, serve as both interviewers and interviewees. Their words were woven together to simulate a stream-of-consciousness dialogue, through which important themes and issues emerge, including family, love, interracial relationships, community, education, violence, and the past, present, and future of Black men in American society.
The exhibition includes multiple screens playing videos of the interviews, edited so that it appears as if the men are having a conversation. The artists hope that the Question Bridge project will be a catalyst for constructive dialogue that will help deconstruct stereotypes about Black male identity in our collective consciousness. Museum visitors are also invited to visit the user-generated Question Bridge website, accessible on iPads throughout the gallery, which offers a platform to represent and redefine Black male identity in America.