Adama Jalloh is a photographer from London who has worked on many stunning photography projects, including her identity project, where she took beautiful photos of black girls getting their hair done.
To celebrate Black History Month BuzzFeed asked Jalloh to take pictures of what black Britishness looks like in 2016. She photographed black men, women, and children in the streets of London, including in Peckham and Notting Hill, and asked some of them: What does being black mean to you?
“Wherever you were born you should be proud of it and your colour.” – Mariam
“That’s a good question. For me, blackness is creativity.” – Alassan Kouyate
Banke (left) and Issac
“To be honest with you I’m proud of being a black man.” – Issac
“I’m really proud of being a black lady. My culture, the beauty, our hair style – we are naturally gifted. Being black is a gift from God.” – Banke
Babaoloye (left) and Alex
“As a black man I’m always proud to display myself. They came to Africa to enslave us but at the end of the day we came out victorious.” – Babaoloye
“I’ve never thought of this. Now that you’ve asked, it means everything. It's who I am. I don’t know why I haven’t asked myself this question before.” – Manuel
Sia (middle left)
“It’s so full. I feel like I’ve learnt about my blackness within my family circle, in a slightly different way that I’ve learnt about my blackness in a...I’ll call it, like, a wider black consciousness circle – if that makes sense.
"When I was growing up my mum would make comments about 'You need to know that you're black.' That means that you're going to have to do twice as much to get far in this country, and stuff like that makes my blackness feel like a hindrance – but not for us. It wasn’t my mum saying we’re black and we’re disadvantaged for it. It's more perspective: People are going to look at you and not want to do for you as they would for anyone else.” – Sia
“I want our children to hold the same proud values of being black. Everybody should be proud of their colour.” – Gloria
“It’s kind of hard to explain because we are just born into it. We're used to growing up and being black. What I can talk about is how we are perceived: Some people appreciate us and some don’t. Being black is great for me. I love it – black music, black culture, black women, everything. You can’t answer this in one minute; it’s a whole-day discussion.
"I also think black culture now generally is getting more accepted by youngsters and adults. People become more aware of it because of TV, the media, movies, music. I think it's being seen in a positive light more than it used to be. People are now embracing us and wanting to see how we are.” – TJ