The Question Bridge: Black Males

“The Question Bridge: Black Males”exhibition gives an in-depthinsight into the day to day lives of a majority of black American males in the United States. It forms an avenue whereby individuals are accorded with a chance to ask questions as to what pertains a black man. The expedition is a collaborative media project that involves 150 black men from all walks of life discussing the common issues affecting their livelihood. Question Bridge: Black Males exhibition involves five screen installations that serve as an avenue that allows for conversations among the participants. This platform was created by Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas,Bayete Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair in 1966.The exhibition serves as a way of preserving the black man’s culture since a majority of the videos have been kept at various museums such as the National Museum of African American history,the Oakland Museum of California and, the Brooklyn Museum. Storing the various videos ensures that future generations will be able to learn about their culture through the conversations in the video.

The major theme in this exhibition was based on the factors that influence the position of a black man in society as well as what factors influence who they are and who they become. This is brought out clearly by some of the questions asked such as: “what does it mean to be a black man?” “What is the last word you want to be remembered by?” “How did growing up without a father figure affect an individual?”

The fact that the exhibition employed the technique of bridging ensures that a majority of responses pertaining to the topic are received. Bridging is an effective psychotherapy technique since it allows all participating individuals to respond to a question. The black community value bridging since it allows them to tackle issues in the society that affects them which would be rather difficult to talk about. Consequently, it brings different individuals from different locations together. Additionally, the way the artwork was installed, allows the participants to have an intimate discussion. The five screens created an aspect of a group discussion since it allows individuals to turn their heads and look at one speaker at time which makes it interactive. All these played a huge role in ensuring the success of the conversations due to the fact that they are able to see each other’s reactions which dispels any initial fears. Consequently, talking to a screen creates a more relaxed environment for opening up without fear of judgment.

Listening to some of the stories in the piece evoked various emotions in me especially when one of the speakers describes a violent event that happened and he was an on looker. This made me mad and sad at the same time since it is one of the many incidences that happen and people are not brave enough to stand up and defend themselves or others due to fear. However, it is important to isolate the black male identity since they are the most affected by various stereotypes such as; they are not good fathers or that they are not smart enough. It is important that they are given the chance to reclaim their identity and to distance themselves from the negativity that has been associated with the black man. For instance, the nod represents that they identify with each other and that they are walking in this journey together.

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