SONS: Seeing the Modern African American Male

Friday, Feb. 10 - Saturday, May. 27

How would the Black American male be best described? If the images currently flooding popular media were relied upon he might be described as menacing, comical, volatile, hip, urban, oppressed, or a victim of the legacy of slavery.

The image that springs to America’s collective mind when the subject of the African American male is raised is probably not an altogether positive one. Fortunately what is perceived and what is real are often not the same. A more accurate description would have to take in account the millions of black men who live their lives unnoticed and unheralded. They are white and blue collar workers, members of the armed forces, veterans, retirees, artists, entrepreneurs, students, fathers, sons, brothers, co-workers and friends. While some may be described as being on the fringes of society most exist as an integral part of it. They have jobs, go to school, pay bills, fight in wars and raise families.

SONS: Seeing the Modern African American Male is a photography exhibition created by photographer, Jerry Taliaferro. The exhibit attempts to start conversations, and increase understanding by looking beyond stereotypes and differences, and showing the true and unique identity of every participant.

is exhibited in three sections: 

PERCEPTIONS: Black and white portraits of 38 Jackson, MI men in which only the faces and names of the men are revealed.

REALITIES & RECONCILIATIONS: Color portraits of the same 38 Jackson, MI men, which reveal the subjects as they perceive themselves.

“I AM” INTERVIEWS: Interviews featuring most of the portrait participants and their thoughts about perceptions, hopes and fears as black men living in today’s society.

SONS is supported by funding from the Jackson Community Foundation
Special thanks to Jackson College, Spring Arbor University, The Jackson Blazer, and all individual portrait participants