If you could ask one burning question of your ethnic community, what would it be?
This was the prompt given to 150 black men around the United States by artists Chris Johnson and Hank Willis Thomas, in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair. Question Bridge: Black Males addresses questions of race, class, and identity in America and contributes to conversations about racial identity in art practice. According to the artists, through this dialogue, “‘Blackness’ ceases to be a simple, monochromatic concept.”
The project extends at QuestionBridge.org, where the questions and answers featured in the video installation can be explored further.
(Note: Depending on your group, you may want to use these prompts as private, individual writing exercises rather than group discussion prompts.)
- Did you hear anything that surprised you while watching the video installation? Why was it surprising?
- How does viewing this artwork at the Museum (as a five-screen installation in a dark gallery) compare to viewing questions online at QuestionBridge.org? Does one or the other experience make you feel something different? Which do you think was most effective?
- If you could ask your own question, what would you ask?
- If you could answer any question, which would you answer? How would you answer it?
Question Bridge Educator Curriculum