Dennis Morris is celebrated for his iconic photographs of the Sex Pistols and Bob Marley. But few knew that in that pivotal era he was also documenting black British life in London… Sean O’Hagan, in an article for London’s Guardian, speaks to Morris about his new book, Growing Up Black.
I meet Dennis Morris on the steps of Hackney town hall in east London, and we set off up Mare Street, through a church yard that leads into a small park, and out on to Homerton High Street, where his old school, Upton House Comprehensive, has been transformed into City Academy. It was there, aged 16, that Morris told a careers adviser that he wanted to be a photographer.
“The guy just looked at me like I was mad,” he says. “Then he said: ‘Be realistic. There’s no such thing as a black photographer.’ Those were his words…
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