The Daily Telegraph
Actor’s portrait an ‘overdue’ tribute to his slave ancestors
A PORTRAIT of David Harewood is to be permanently hung in a house owned by the family who enslaved his ancestors, in a move that is “overdue”, the actor and author has said.
The photographic portrait will hang in a Missing Portraits series commissioned to delve into the international historic past of Harewood House, near Leeds, and address the lack of diverse representation in its art collection.
Harewood House was built from the fortune amassed by the Lascelles family, who became earls of Harewood, through the slave trade. Harewood’s ancestors were slaves on the family’s sugar plantation in Barbados.
The 57-year-old actor, whose parents left Barbados for Birmingham eight years before he was born, said: “To have my portrait presented at Harewood brings on many complex emotions.
“It is a day that is well overdue for me and my ancestors, a day that sees their efforts and hard work finally acknowledged. I am pleased that we have reached a point when this can happen and I hope it might encourage positive change elsewhere.”
Harewood, whose acting credits include Homeland and who recently starred in the Young Vic’s production of Best of Enemies, visited Harewood House in 2021 for the Channel 5 series, 1000 Years A Slave, and met David Lascelles, the 8th Earl.
The Earl and the Countess, Diane Howse, said they were “delighted” the actor’s portrait will be featured in the series. The portrait will be produced by Ashley Karrell, a Leeds-based photographer and filmmaker.