Created by Cephas Williams, founder of the Black British Network, the exhibition features 116 portraits displayed around the shopping centre as part of this year’s Manchester International Festival
Commissioned for the festival, the exhibition is part of an ongoing project by Williams which he hopes will eventually lead to a collection of 1,000 portraits of Black Britons.

Yandass Ndlovu, a participant of Portrait of Black Britain by Cephas Williams. All photos: Fabio De Paola/PA Wire

“I will be asking a very important question to the world and leaving a very rich and diverse answer for generations to come, that is, ‘What does it actually mean to be Black?’,” he says of his new project. “This is me taking control of my narrative and asking other Black people to join me in the re-introduction of our presence and stories in the 21st century.”
Through Portrait of Black Britain, he hopes to both amplify the contributions made by Black people living in the UK and make them more visible, plus also give the next generation and wider society a holistic picture of Black achievements in the UK in the 21st century.

Portrait of Black Britain, installed at the Arndale Centre
Cephas Williams in front of the installation at the Arndale

Portrait of Black Britain will be on show at the Arndale Centre in Manchester throughout July;;