Black Male Identity Project

Black Male Identity Project

Note: GBCA does not run the Black Male Identity Project. We are working on behalf of the project organizers to involve more members of the cultural community in the project. The below text is taken directly from the Black Male Identity Project website.


The Black Male Identity project was originally inspired by the Open Society

Images taken from the Black Male Idenity Project website.

Foundation’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA). In spring 2010, Art on Purpose began discussions with staff of CBMA, conversations that led to a major grant to Art on Purpose awarded by CBMA in summer 2010 to seed the Black Male Identity project. 

Shortly after receiving the grant, Art on Purpose named Fanon Hill and Sam Christian Holmes as co-directors of the project. They along with project coordinator, Peter Bruun, assembled an Advisory Group, which met for the first time at Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History & Culture on October 26, 2010, marking the official launch of the project.

From the beginning, Black Male Identity was conceived as a way to build a model within Baltimore for cities throughout the country to conduct community-wide engagements building an authentic counter-narrative to prevailing negative stereotypes that to this day present obstacles to achievement for black men and boys.

Project Overview

Black Male Identity, a project of the non-profit organization Art on Purpose, has the audacious goal of using art to launch a national More Than 28 Days Campaign to build, celebrate, and accentuate new images of what it means to be a black man or boy.

Black Male Identity aims to stimulate community-wide dialogue, art making, and sharing of images and ideas to develop a true and positive story—all combined together to create a more authentic identity that is shockingly absent from mainstream media, entertainment, and the culture. Harnessing youths’ energy, community input, and artists’ self-driven creativity, the Black Male Identity project will begin a process that will empower participants to continue to build their identity into the future.

Under the auspices of Art on Purpose, Black Male Identity takes place within Baltimore and lasts through 2011, at which point, with ongoing involvement of Black Male Identity sponsors and partners, the More Than 28 Days Campaign will take on a life of its own as a national campaign.

Though a short-lived project, Black Male Identity will deliver impact within Baltimore to be felt beyond 2011, including a network of relationships between Baltimore’s artistic, youth, and community assets, allowing ongoing cultural sustainability for black males across the region.

Get Involved

Black Male Identity is a project to launch the More Than 28 Days Campaign. The more people who become involved, the more successful we will be in building and promoting definitions of what it means to be black and male.

There are many ways to get involved:

  • Lead the way—lead a workshop. As an educator, artist, or natural leader, you can download and use any or all of our Education Package documents:
    Educator Introduction >>This text document explains the project, how educators and others may lead others in participation, and offers key dates and information to facilitate participation

    Educator Package PDFPPT >>

    This document, available as either a PDF or PowerPoint document, offers a series of single images linked to each of the 23 collective categories. You may wish to use this document as-is, or modify it for your specific purposes in leading a group in making art to submit to the Black Male Identity project.

    A la Carte Images >>

    The images found in the Educator Package may be downloaded as a zip file for your free use in leading a group in making art to submit to the Black Male Identity project.

    Participating Artists >>

    This PDF document lists the artists who have contributed images to the Educator Package, and functions as an index on which artists created which images.

  •  Hold a Barbershop Conversation—put it on video. Whether you’re in a barbershop or not, we want to know your thoughts about black male identity: put a conversation together, video it, edit a clip you want to share, and upload it. Make sure to tag it for the collective topics that fit!
  •  Become an Affiliate. Curator? Performing artist? Cultural organization? Daring impresario? Interested in developing your own project or public program offering authentic and true portrayals of black male identity? Then we want to know about it, and support it however we can! Learn all about becoming an Affiliate Activity.
  •  Give your time, treasure, and talent. Believe in what we’re doing and want to donate $10, $100, or $1,000? Visit Art on Purpose’s contribution page and make a tax-deductible contribution. Or perhaps you’re a film buff and want to see more invested in the Black Male Identity documentary about the project? Learn about the documentary project, and make a contribution. Do you have time—and talent—and want to volunteer your efforts and energy for the good of Black Male Identity? Then just let us know. Send an email to peter@blackmaleidentity.comor leave a phone message at 410-231-3884.

    Images taken from the Black Male Identity Project website.


A small but dedicated and accomplished staff of personnel contracted by Art on Purpose lead the Black Male Identity project:

Fanon Hill, Co-Director

A musician, community organizer and youth development practitioner, Fanon Hill is responsible for all aspects of community engagement, with a particular interest in mobilizing youth, artists and other agents of cultural change as catalytic leaders for the project.

Sam Christian Holmes, Co-Director

An artist, sculptor, and educator, Sam Christian Holmes is responsible for conceptualizing the project’s curatorial and artistic directions, with a particular interest in identifying the building blocks and methods needed to support cultural sustainability.

Peter Bruun, Coordinator

The former director and founder of Art on Purpose, Peter Bruun is responsible for  overall project management, with a particular interest in nurturing and incorporating community input for the project’s repository of images and narratives.

Nora Howell, Project Assistant

An artist and Masters in Fine Arts in Community Arts (MFACA) candidate at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Nora Howell supports the Co-Directors and Coordinator in all project areas as needed.

Brittany Dodson, Intern

A Communications major and member of the basketball team at Morgan State University, Brittany Dodson is managing Black Male Identity’s Twitter and Facebook communication platforms.

Note: GBCA does not run the Black Male Identity Project. We are working to involve more members of the cultural community in the project. The above text is taken directly from the Black Male Identity Project website.