John Ferguson – Black Britannia

30 Jun
Pioneering black Britions 

Black Britannia features striking portraits by John Ferguson, Fleet Streets first black photographer in the 1980’s, of some of the most well known – and less familiar – black men and women who have risen to the top of their chosen fields in the UK.
Under the title Black Britannia, the full exhibition comprises of 55 portraits of inspirational black Britons who inspired personally the artist in the past or who are currently making great strides in public life. Of the 55 black Britons, some well know names such as Sir Trevor McDonald, Lenny Henry, Naomi Campbell, Paul Ince, Lewis Hamilton, and others from various occupations such as head teachers to supermodels, boxers to lawyers – these are people from all walks of life.
John Ferguson has selected his favourites portraits of individuals which were first shown at London’s City Hall, and opened by the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The exhibition aims to highlighting the achievements of these individuals, by promoting a positive image of black Britons and a message to today’s black youth through these high quality aesthetic portraits. Photographer John Ferguson says:

“The aim being, first, to inspire black youth to broaden their horizons away from street life by providing non-stereotypical role models, and second, to show London at large, the incredible achievements of black individuals away from the all too frequent stereotyping of black people.”

“I believe that all too often black people are portrayed in a negative light. I want to challenge this preconception by also raising people conciseness and awareness to the contributions made to UK culture, economy and life by black Britons.”

“I’d hope to find an accessible venue that’s free to everyone, an important consideration given that part of the target audience I’d hope to attract would be disengaged youth.”

“London is a wonderful multicultural city, and many of the capital’s key strengths come from its diversity. This exhibition is a chance for the young people to become inspired by the portraits and stories of these black men and women.”

The exhibition had a very successful extended run in London, where it then moved on to Liverpool’s slavery museum for a six month run. It is currently being exhibited by Oldham Arts council, Greater Manchester.

1. Ms Dynamite R&B rapper singer/songwriter
2. Naomi Campbell supermodel
3. Nicholas Tung- first black Irish Guardsman to guard the Queen of England
4. Johnny Sarpong- Top international fashion stylist
5. Shevelle Dynott Dancer with England National Ballet
6. Billy Ocean International singer
7.Heneretta Brockway -Top international female golfer
8.Estelle- R&B singer
9.Lenny Henry- Actor and comedian
10. High Court Judge Linda Dobbs
11. Jamelia soul singer
12. David Wabso Head engineering for London Underground
13. Samantha Tross- Leading Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
14. John Coneth Ex- light heavyweight world champion boxer
15. Lewis Hamilton –  World champion F1 racing driver
16. Michael Fuller Chief Constable of Kent, British highest ranking Policeman
17. Sir Trevor McDonald- Britain’s leading Tv News Anchor man
18 Gina Yashere- One of the few leading female comedians in the UK
19.Chris Houghton The UK’s only black soccer manager
20.Courtenay Griffiths QC The UK’s leading black criminal defender Barrister

More about John Ferguson:

  • Location: London, United Kingdom
  • John is an experienced documentary and environmental portrait photographer working out of London and UK. He has travelled extensively working for leading national and international newspapers and magazines as well as NGO’s. From the raise of the Aids/HIV pandemic in Africa and Asia, to feature stories from conflicts zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. John as talent for conceptualisation and delivering strong and innovative ideas and works well in a team environment, taking direction as well as working independently. His work as also covered various celebrity and high end editorial and commercial work. In 2009 John’s first solo exhibition ‘Black Britannia’ was opened by the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown at London City Hall. He is currently finishing a two year personal project which as gained interest from a leading Sunday Supplement in the UK.
  • johnferguson.co.uk
  • Exhibition: Black Britannia – Celebrating black success in the UK
  • Ferguson reveals the stories behind his pictures:
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