Papers related to Olive Morris

Scope and Content

Includes images of Olive Morris, an order of service for her funeral, and for Doris Morris's funeral.

Administrative / Biographical History

Olive Morris, activist and community leader, was born Jamaica, 1952. She moved to London in 1962. Morris established a number of black and community groups, including the Brixton Black Women's Group. She was instrumental in the formation of the Organization of Women of African and Asian Descent, a radical black women's group that was the first black women's umbrella network in Britain, and was a member of the Black Panther Party. Morris was an ardent supporter of the homeless and campaigned for sqatter's rights successfully securing an agreement, in 1973, from Lambeth Council to buy some abandoned flats on behalf of squatters.

While studying in Manchester, Morris continued her activism in Moss Side. A major achievement was the establishment of a supplementary school after campaigning with local black parents for better education provision for their children.

In 1977, Olive took a trip to China, possibly with a Manchester University Marxist Group. This reinforced her beliefs in self-help and self-reliance for black people.

Morris died of cancer in 1979. In 1986 Lambeth Council named the local housing benefits office after her.

Sources used to compile this administrative history include the following site

Access Information

This collection is available for research. Readers are strongly urged to contact Black Cultural Archives in advance of their visit. Some of the material may be stored off-site and advance notice of at least a week is needed in order to retrieve this material.

The reading room is open for access to archive materials Wednesdays-Fridays, 10am-4pm. The reading room is also open late every second Thursday of the month, 1pm-7pm.

Please email the archivist to book an appointment

Custodial History

The collection was gathered by Black Cultural Archives' volunteers, and brought together by staff in 2008.

Related Material

The Olive Morris collection is held at Lambeth Archives.