Pictures of Cephas above taken by Casey Gutteridge | CPG Photos
ABOUT CEPHAS WILLIAMS
Cephas is the founder and photographer of the 56 Black Men movement and Drummer Boy Studios he previously studied architecture and has been doing business for around 11 years.
After taking a series of portrait photographs of 56 Black Men in hoodies, he launched '56 Black Men' as a campaign in the UK focusing on changing the narrative of black men in the media as an introduction to a much wider conversation.
Since he launched 56 Black Men on the 23rd of December 2018, the campaign took off and has since been featured by The Guardian, Channel 5, Sky News, BBC, Metro, Aljazeera amongst others, creating both a local and global impact.
Cephas believes everyone should have a fair chance to change their narrative and so utilising his degree in Architecture, he created Drummer Boy Studios in 2017. Cephas set out to merge his passion for architecture and his passion for the community in a bid to create physical spaces that cater to those who often suffer the brunt of gentrification. The studio ran as a creative hub, a workspace with facilities for the creative sector, conducive for growth, innovation and collaboration for people interested in the creative sector including industries such as Music, Film, Media, Enterprise, Fashion and Gaming.
Upon doing this Cephas was confused as to why things like this were not being spotlighted in the media, after all the work and money he and his team put into creating this space within the community, he had also secured a partnership with BDP to become his official development partner for the business.
Despite this, he was still facing opposition from people in authority and not being spotlighted for the positive work being done. This pushed him to think about how many more black men are doing great things but are never heard or spotlighted. Cephas started to question further, why is it that things like this never make headline news? And why the prevailing headline news about black men was always surrounding knife crime or violence. As a result he decided to create the 56 Black Men campaign to challenge the negative stereotypes of black men in the media and spotlight positive achievements of the black men in the series.
Over the years Cephas has been instrumental in galvanising support for his business' from key partners and senior contacts including FTSE 100 Companies, GLA, The Guardian, Somerset House, Clear Channel and others.