Olive Morris

Olive Morris

    Who is Olive Morris?

    Morris, who died from cancer desease on age 27, campaigned and and defender  for racial and gender equality, and squatters' rights.

    She led protests and demonstrations, and helped to consist the Brixton Black Women's team in 1973, one of Britain's first networks for black women.

    Google Doodles are the changes made to the company's logo to mark events, anniversaries and significant people.

    The temporary design then marked for a day on the homepage of the Google browser.

    The latest image shows a mural of Morris's face on the side of a building on Railton Road in Lambeth, south London.

    So who really was the woman on the wall?

    Olive Morris was born in Jamaica in 1953 and changed her adress to London with her family when she was nine.

    When she was at 16, she became involved in an incident in which police tried to catch a diplomat from Nigeria, who had parked his Mercedes car on Atlantic Road in Brixton to buy some records from a shop.

    Historian Angelina Osborne from the Fawcett Society, a charity that campaigns for gender equality and women's rights, said: "Police officers, thinking the diplomat was stolen the car began to, due to witnesses, arrest him and hit him.

    "Olive came forward and physically tried to prevent the police from attacking the diplomat, causing the police to turn on her, arrest her and assault her, beating her in the chest.

    "This young girl, almost 5ft 2in, took on racist police officers, without thinking about her own safety, because she couldn't get ready and allow the injustice of an African man being arrested for driving a beautiful car.

    "This was one early incident of Olive's commitment to challenging oppression."

    Due to the Oxford Dictionary book of National Biography, this altercation had led to Morris being physically assaulted and racially abused by the police and arrested, along with six other people, fined £10, and given a three-month suspended jail sentence.

    Olive Morris set up the 121 Railton Road squat in 1973 which served as a local activism hub until 1999, when squatters lost a court case against Lambeth Council. She helped in founding the Brixton Black Women's Group in the year 1974.

    During her study years at Manchester University (1975-78), she also became involved in the community that suffers in Moss Side, contributing to the formation of the Black Women's Mutual and contacted Aid and the Manchester Black Women's Co-op.

    She then worked at the Brixton Law Centre.

    • She died at age 27 and was buried in Streatham Vale Cemetery.

    In 2009 she was chosen by famouse vote as one of the historical figures to feature on a local currency, the Brixton pound. In 2011 the Olive Morris memorial prize was started to give bursaries to young black women.

    Matt Cruickshank, who designed and drew the Google Doodle, said: "Olive's activism happened nearly 50 years ago. My hope is that real, positive change will take place in our current context, and that Olive is remembered as a vital and important influence in this ongoing fight for equality and justice for all people."
    Ahmed adel
    @Posted by
    writer and blogger, founder of Echo Life .

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