What is 56 black men campaign all about?
I was talking to someone in the UK but for the whole time she kept on raving about something at the bus stop, next thing I got was pictures she took of whatever was making her excited. The pictures did more than get my attention, next thing I did was google “56 black men” up. Reading it and not sharing it with my fellow Nigerians would be really selfish, this campaign is long overdue and I must commend the initiative behind it. It’s good to see people coming up and challenging what is being perceived as a norm.
Black men in hood have been portrayed by media, in movies and news as been extremely dangerous. Over the years this has unconsciously led to people becoming uneasy when they see a black man in hood (I haven’t been outside Nigeria, but I know I would be scared if I see a black man in hood coming towards me, all thanks o the media). Wearing hood is casual and looks innocent until a Black man wears it, then to the public you automatically become a criminal, who is going to pull out a gun at the slightest provocation.
This sour phenomena has led to Cephas William launching the 56 Black Men Campaign on the Christmas Eve of 2018, which means that, for every one black man, there are 56 other good men. Cephas Williams is an entrepreneur with a degree in architecture and when asked about the vision behind it, he said, “This is a visual campaign 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, law and business, right through to the medical field and more”.
The 56 black men campaign started by featuring 56 black men in hoods from various fields who are doing phenomenal things but will ordinarily not be aired by the media until they commit a crime. Recently there has been an addition to the 56 men, in person of Joivan Wade – a British Actor.
This campaign has gotten the attention of the press and people who have been affected in one way or the other are coming out to share their experience, below is the story of a lady as shown on their Instagram page