Question Bridge is an innovative multimedia project created by Hank Willis Thomas, an artist whose work is featured in 30 Americans. Question Bridge facilitates a dialogue between black men from diverse and contentious backgrounds and creates a platform for them to represent and redefine black male identity in America.
These video modules, created by the Detroit Institute of Arts, feature Metro Detroit high school students from diverse backgrounds. The videos are designed to support educators in facilitating conversations about such potentially challenging topics as identity and race in their classrooms. The modules can be used as a pre- or post-visit resource for the DIA exhibition 30 Americans or independently of a visit to the exhibition. Along with the links below for each video module, there are discussion prompts that may be helpful for guiding conversations with students. Educators can modify and use these flexible and open-ended prompts in many different ways to inspire thinking and discussion among students.
Courageous Conversations: Identities
-Where do you go to escape from external markers of identity? Where’s your “Soundsuit”? Do you have one? -Think about some facets of your own identity—in your family, with your friends, at school. How can you build an understanding of yourself by exploring different facets of your identity? -Think about a time when you’ve tried on different outfits in front of a mirror. What is this about—is it about self-expression, fitting in, something else? How do outward appearances get in the way of authentically seeing ourselves and each other?
The artist of this work, Glenn Ligon, says, “How is it that America can be this dark star, death star and also, at the same time, this incredible shining light?” What do you think about what Ligon says?