June 13 2013
As a black male, I hear and read about a lot of statistcs that makes me wonder if I'm an endangered species. Statistics such as 1 in every 3 black men will have been incarcerated at some point in their lives. Some have said there are more black men in prison than in college. Fortunately, in an NPR story, that claim was proven to be wrong.
"It's wrong. There are 1.4 million black men in college right now, and there are about 840,000 black men in prison." -Ivory Toldson (Howard University, my Alma Mater)
Just seeing these numbers would make anyone feel depressed. However, they are just numbers. Numbers won't solve problems, or truly highlight what is really going on in the community.
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.
Originally created by Chris Johnson and Hank Willis Thomas, Question Bridge aims to represent and redefine black male identity through the use of video dialogue. The Question Bridge transmedia exhibit debuted at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The five-channel video installation features 150 black men from various political, geographic, economic and generational backrounds asking and answering questions about topics such as race, family, faith, manhood, and violence. You can view this exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum from June 14 to September 8. However, the Question Bridge creators wants to extend this exhibit beyond the walls of the museum to your desktop, smart phone and tablet via Kickstarter campaign. This multi-platform 'web app' will be called Question Bridge Interactive.
By leveraging over 1600 videos collected for the original video installation, Question Bridge Interactive creates a space for exploring specific conversations about black male identity and making new discoveries in the process.
You can learn more about the campaign and the web app via the Question Bridge Kickstarter page and the video below. What do you think of the project and will you check out the exhibit?
Bonus: On June 15 at the Milwaukee Art Museum there will be roundtable discussion at 2pm.
Hear from local black male leaders and artist Chris Johnson, as they discuss intergenerational communication and the holistic development of black men and boys relative to education, work, family, and community. The roundtable panel includes James Causey, Tyrone Dumas, Ald. Willie Hines, Mike Jackson, Christopher McIntyre, Kwame Nsoroma, and Eric Von.