SEE IT: “Question Bridge: Black Males” @ Brooklyn Museum

Representing and redefining the complexity of black male identity

UPDATE: As of June 1, the Brooklyn Museum edition has been extended to July 15!

@unakariim @theloop21

Recently on TheLoop21, Una-Kariim Cross writes about the transmedia exhibit Question Bridge: Black Males, currently on display until June at the Brooklyn Museum.  She notes:

The era of President Obama has re-opened the floodgates on public discussions on “Blackness” by Black people.  It seems that not since the Spike Lee films of the late 80’s and 90’s and certainly not since the late filmmaker Marlon Riggs final work Black is Black Ain’t  (1995) have the voices of Black male power and vulnerability been so strong.  Question Bridge: Black Males captures the multitude of stories and perspectives as co-director Hank Willis Thomas states “of men who are separated by class, geography, and philosophical differences.”

The goal of the project, co-directed by artists Chris Johnson and Hank Willis Thomas in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair, is to represent and redefine Black male identity in America. Through video mediated question and answer exchange, a diverse group of black men bridge economic, political, geographic, and generational divisions.

The project is “transmedia” because it’s not limited to video and/or Web. Smith explains:

We had always planned on creating a dynamic website to accompany the project. However one of our collaborators, Kamal Sinclair, really took a lot of initiative in pushing us to cultivate our transmedia ideas and the BAVC mentors helped a lot with this as well. We developed our ideas for an interactive website, for using mobile phones (devices) as well as a series of public posters to get more people to interact with and add to the questions and answers. Kamal was also instrumental in spearheading the creation of the Question Bridge: Black Males curriculum, which is available for free via our website. We were very fortunate to take part in the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier story lab, where our ideas were further refined.

And definitely take your kids: My 12-year-old son was very engaged by it.  The exhibit is currently running in four museums around the country:

Check this out:

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Rob Fields is the founder and publisher of Bold As Love Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @robfields.

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