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‘Question Bridge’ asks important questions about race

"Question Bridge: Black Males in America" by Deborah Willis and Natasha L. Logan.
"Question Bridge: Black Males in America" by Deborah Willis and Natasha L. Logan.

What does it mean to be a black man in America today? This is the question at the heart of a project called Question Bridge. Black men in cities across the country asked other black men about a host of subjects, including role models, white beauty, the n-word, and staying alive. Videotapes from the project are on display at UMass-Amherst’s University Museum of Contemporary Art until May 1, and answers have been collected in “Question Bridge: Black Males in America” (Aperture) edited by Deborah Willis and Natasha L. Logan. Sprinkled among the questions with a sociological bent are some surprises that evoke powerful statements, like “Am I the only one who has problems eating chicken, watermelon, and bananas in front of white people?”

JAN GARDNER