Sons: Seeing the Modern African American Male features black-and-white and color photographs by Jerry Taliaferro of 49 men from the Flint community. This exhibition is much more than a photographic study, as it also aims to explore perceptions and biases. In Taliaferro’s words, “Recent events point to the urgent need for conversations about the contemporary Black American male. Any effort, however humble, to foster an understanding of this largely misunderstood and often marginalized segment of the American population is of utmost importance.”
For his subjects, Taliaferro photographed men who were nominated by the community in early 2021. The resulting images are divided into two sections: first a black-and-white photograph of just their face, and then later in the exhibition a photograph in color, where the subjects were instructed to “be themselves.” Visitors will have the opportunity to reflect and reconcile their initial reactions to the portraits, after getting to know the men and their stories through text labels and QR codes that lead to interviews conducted by the artist.
This exhibition marks both the return of Jerry Taliaferro to Flint and the fifth anniversary of Women of a New Tribe, a popular exhibition that featured 49 black-and-white photographs by Taliaferro of women from the Flint community.