’56 Black Men’ and Clear Channel use billboards to promote anti-racism

Back in 2018, British entrepreneur and activist Cephas Williams created a photo exhibit called 56 Black Men, which was a collection of 56 headshots of Black men in black hoodies.

The men were artists, entrepreneurs, politicians, and teachers, but by putting them in a hoodie, it forces the viewer to confront their own prejudice and stereotyping in media.

Now, under the 56 Black Men banner, Williams has launched a new campaign called “Let’s Not Forget” with a striking PSA film that helps put this moment into a broader, global perspective.

“In this strange time

Where Black people in America are being brutally killed

And Black people globally have had to stand by and watch while those that look like us are denied justice, peace, and equality

Let’s not forget the Ahmaud Arberys of the world.

Let’s not forget the Breonna Taylors. The George Floyds.

Let’s not forget that racism is not getting worse. It’s getting filmed.”

Williams has also partnered with outdoor advertising behemoth Clear Channel to use its billboards across the UK to spread the word. In a statement, Clear Channel UK joint managing director Richard Bon said, “We have the opportunity and indeed responsibility to use our very public medium to talk about difficult subjects—the things people don’t want to get wrong, so often avoid. By joining forces with 56 Black Men again and amplifying the ‘Let’s Not Forget’ message, we want to play a positive part in the fight against racism and driving for a more equal world.”

Speaking of a more equal world, it’s worth noting that all of Clear Channel’s UK leadership is white, as are 20 members of its 21-person American leadership team.