Google has paid tribute to Olive Morris today, on what would be her 68th birthday, with a Google Doodle in her honour. Featured on the Google homepage, the doodles are often used to mark important events and honour special figures.
Who is Olive Morris?
Olive Morris was a British community leader and activist in the feminist, black nationalist, and squatters’ rights campaigns of the 1970s in the United Kingdom.
She dedicated her life to the struggle for liberation, democracy and equality.
Some of her work included helping to found the Brixton Black Women’s Group, one of Britain’s first networks for Black women.
Olive Morris: Who is Olive Morris? Google honours activist
Olive also co-founded the Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent, considered instrumental in rallying movements for change.
She was named as one of eight Black women to have contributed to the development of women in 2018 by The Voice newspaper, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote.
Google said in a statement: “There has never been a more timely moment to commemorate the birthday of Olive Morris, whose fight for equality, left an extraordinary legacy of local activism in Brixton and beyond.
“We hope that by recognising and celebrating Olive Morris with a Google Doodle, we can inspire others to keep pushing forward for change.”
Olive was born on June 26, 1952 in Harewood, St Catherine, Jamaica and moved to London when she was nine-years-old.
Growing up in North London, in her adult life she campaigned for access to education and decent living conditions for Black communities.
She also fought against state and police repression, founding several movements and inspiring others in her short life.
Lambeth Council named a building after her in 1986, following the Brixton uprisings of 1981 and more riots in 1985.
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A play area and garden for the community was also named after Olive, located in Myatt’s Fields
Olive died aged just 27 after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which was discovered after she fell ill following a trip to Spain.
She had undergone treatment which was unsuccessful and died on July 12, 1978.
The celebration of Olive’s life is especially poignant following the spate of Black Lives Matter protests and campaigns around the world in recent weeks.
The death of African-American man George Floyd on May 25 after being held to the ground by a white police officer sparked outrage and protests worldwide.
Campaigners are calling for racial justice and police reforms to the top of the political agenda ahead of the November 3 presidential election.
Around the world, Floyd’s death triggered protests, particularly in countries with a history of colonialism and involvement in the slave trade.
Derek Chauvin, 44, the policeman who had held Floyd to the ground by kneeling on his neck is charged with second-degree murder.
Chauvin’s co-defendants, three fellow officers, are accused of aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder.
Protests and campaigns are continuing across the world, with celebrities and public figures using their platforms to raise awareness.
The impact of rallies and protests has spread to Britain and sparked a review under the order of Mayor Sadiq Khan of London statues and street names which largely reflect Britain’s empire in the reign of Queen Victoria.
He said: “It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade and while this is reflected in our public realm, the contribution of many of our communities to live in our capital has been wilfully ignored.”