A talented group of artists has united to redefine the constructs that currently restrict the idea of black masculinity. Leaders in visual art, performance, and spoken word — brothers, determined to redefine the ideal of what it means to be a black man through a bold initiative called, Question Bridge: Black Males.
For four years the artists involved with the Question Bridge project traveled the country collecting thousands of video based questions and answers from black men. Each participant was given the opportunity to direct meaningful inquiries to another black male that he wouldn’t ordinarily connect with. The video conversations were then fashioned into an installation that has been featured at several museums throughout the nation and at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
By allowing men of color a platform to ask the difficult questions, Question Bridge has created a catalyst to understand, contest, and ultimately transform not only our perceptions of men of African descent, but their own understanding of themselves.
The significance of a question like, “Who are you?” is often overlooked as we scurry to assimilate into the avatars that society has so keenly laid out for us.
We say we want unity, but seldom take the time to connect on a level that isn’t surface. This is what makes this project so valuable.
Question Bridge recently embarked on the next phase of their venture, Question Bridge Interactive. Through the power of social media and innovative technology, Question Bridge Interactive moves to be a responsive online platform where interested parties can congregate and further the dialogue between black males.
Unfortunately, our world assumes the worst of our African-American males. An infectious misrepresentation, often perpetuated by media outlets, is no more evident that in the tragedy of Trayvon Martin.
By tangibly defying monolithic stereotypes, one can create a firsthand awareness of the black male as an individual.
Question Bridge generates this brand of awareness by asking and answering questions pertinent to the black male experience.
The same way that a youth finds his/her voice through a coming of age ritual, the chorus of this bold collective of African-American men resounds as hope for eliminating the systemic disparity against black men that is currently being preserved in American society.
Question Bridge: Black Males is an opportunity for an authentic exchange of ideas to impact the world one voice, one mind, and one question at a time.
For more information on Question Bridge: Black Males Click Here.
-Jennifer Hall, CBS Charlotte