Please click here for an easy read document explaining what this crowdfund is about /56 Black Men Crowd Fund Document
/ Let's change the narrative together.
We really want to take this movement to the next level as an organisation and to do so we are looking to raise £42,000 for us to grow it further as a real business, we are registered as a not-for-profit with the immediate aim of changing the mainstream narrative.
- Deliver 3 major conferences
- Deliver 3 major exhibitions
- Document 56 + Stories
- Deliver 12 workshops
- Create the 56 Website
- Increase Global Reach
- Develop the team
- More positive media coverage
Cephas Williams set up a business called Drummer Boy Studios, his aim was to create something positive in the community. Upon doing this Cephas was confused as to why things like this are not being spotlighted, after all the work and money he and his team put into creating this space within the community, they were still facing opposition from people in authority and not being spotlighted for the positive work being done. It pushed him to think about how many more people are doing great things but are never heard or spotlighted. Cephas started to question further, why is it that things like this never makes headline news? The majority of the time he would see an idea of himself in the newspaper it was for things around knife crime and violence, but he could point to so many black men within his personal network that weren't doing that but in-fact were doing great things. As a result, 56 Black Men was born.
Cephas’ aim is to create something that positively impacts the black community and works to change stereotypes whilst enhancing the community for the progression of the next generation. He's been working to address stereotypes, to help people start their businesses, access different industries and have black men lead on the conversation surrounding their lived experiences. As part of his work with Drummer Boy, he was inspired to create 56 Black Men, a network for black men which does just that.
We’ve all seen the negative impact of bad stereotypes surrounding black men whether this be internal to the black community and many black boys losing their identity to what is widely expected of them, or whether that be others who paint all black men with the same brush as a result of the negative images and news they often see and hear. This movement looks to change that.
In 2018, Sky News
put out a report on the amount of murder victims and suspects we had that year, for the Black community the people murdered were the highest number, being 56. As a result, Cephas took it upon himself to spotlight 56 Black Men that did not fit this statistic in a bid to talk about black men in a positive light while they are still alive and not just when we are dead or in jail.
The fact is the news on knife and gun crime is disproportionate to the number of black men in our communities who are doing positive and amazing things. Through this platform, we look to change this.
The campaign features a photographic series documenting 56 black men that are doing something other than what is widely plastered about black men across various forms of media. Championing the idea that “I am Not My Stereotype.” The campaign looks to challenge the general stereotype of ‘the black man’ and the negative connotations and stigma attached to the cliché image of a black man wearing a hoody. The campaign makes a visually bold statement by showing black men wearing a hoody, while it also features text on what these men currently do for work. It features men from the world of finance, the arts, legal and business, right through to the medical field and more. This is generally the opposite of what society has been conditioned to expect of a black man and in some cases even influences how many black men view themselves and their ability. You see this reflected through representation within the work place also.
The issue is the way we have been represented in the media over the years. Every time Cephas saw black men in the media the reason was generally because they are either a victim or perpetrator of crime or violence, or they’re a rapper or a football player (sports) and generally not seen or spotlighted for much else. Not only does this effect our personal beliefs and personal narratives but it also effects the many young black men growing up in the world who don’t see themselves as anything more than what is widely plastered all over media platforms. Be that physical media, broadcasted media or social media. I want to combat these ideas and do something that not only represents the diverse nature of black men but is also led by a black man with a clear goal to create a platform that can be the change we want to see. (That being, representation in the media and our attitude and support amongst each other ‘brotherhood’).
Cephas launched the campaign a day before Christmas, December 24th 2018 on Instagram
, within 48 hours the page had 1,000 followers and over 100,000 impressions, it was clear that the photographic images, + the videos of Cephas explaining the concept
hit home with many people across the country.
The campaign went on to be featured in the Guardian
with a write up by David Lammy both in the physical paper and online, including the great response it received on their social media post
It then went on to be picked up by a good number of mainstream media outlets including Channel 5
, Sky News
, BBC News
, BBC Victoria Derbyshire's Program
. Cephas was also contacted in this period to write an article on the project for the Metro
Much more has happened in such a short space of time and now we're looking at taking the conversation and the organisation to the next level. Us being able to raise this fund will help put us in a position to make that happen.
Please sign up on our website www.56blackmen.com
Feel free to get in touch directly firstname.lastname@example.org
/ responses are slow at the moment due to the high volume of emails we receive.
Thanks for your Support - 2019, let's change the narrative for life