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26 June 2020 02:32

Olive Morris

Google Doodle celebrates community activist Olive Morris

SUBSCRIBE Invalid email Sign up fornow and never miss the top politics stories again. 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. 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. Some of her work included helping to found the Brixton Black Women's Group, one of Britain's first networks for Black women.

READ MORE Donald Trump news: BLM to 'play in US President's hands' Olive also co-founded the Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent, considered instrumental in rallying movements for change. 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. OIive Morris: Olive campaigned for access to education and decent living conditions for Black communities 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.

Black Lives Matter support: How to financially help BLM [EXPLAINED] READ MORE Chris Evans claims it's 'fine now' after BBC axed 500 Words project 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. 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. OIive Morris: Olive (left) with members of the Black Panthers in about 1975 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. Google has marked the birthday of British community activist Olive Morris in its latest Doodle illustration.

The Jamaica-born south Londoner fought for racial, gender and social equality in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Some of her work included helping to found the Brixton Black Women's Group, one of Britain's first networks for black women, to co-founding the Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent, considered instrumental in rallying movements for change. Ms Morris passed away in 1979 at the age of 27 after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. OLIVE Morris, a Brixton community activist and campaigner, is celebrated by Google Doodle today. She dedicated her life to the struggle for liberation, democracy and equality and is considered a key figure in the campaign for change.

2 Olive Elaine Morris was a British activist and community leader in the 1970s Credit: Handout Born Olive Elaine Morris in June 1952 in St Catherine, Jamaica, she became prominent during the 1970s for her activism in London and Manchester. A community activist in South London in the '70s, Morris dedicated her life to fighting for racial, gender and social equality. Morris joined the British Black Panther Youth movement in 1968 and was a key member alongside Linton Kwesi Johnson, Althea Johnson, Neil Kenlock and Clovis Reid. At Manchester Univeristy she studied social sciences and was an active member of the Manchester Black Women's Cooperative. 2 Google Doodle celebreates Olive Morris' 68th birthday on June 26 Credit: Matthew Cruickshank Why is she being celebrated with a Google Doodle? Google Doodle is celebrating Morris on June 26 - what would have been her 68th birthday. Her legacy is evident in Brixton, as she helped found the Brixton Black Women's Group, one of Britain's first networks for Black women, in 1974. Morris also co-founded the Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent, considered instrumental in rallying movements for change. Morris participated in the squatter campaign in the 1970s, opening the 121 Railton Road squat in 1973 with Liz Obi. Historians remember Morris for her passion for issues such as housing, women's rights and the struggle against racial discrimination. British community activist Olive Morris is being celebrated in Friday's Google Doodle, but what is her story? In her short life Morris made her mark in Britain, fighting for racial, gender and social equality in the late 1960s and throughout the following decade. She was born in Jamaica in 1952 before moving to the UK with her family when she was nine years old, where they settled in south London. Relations between the police and Britain's black community were extremely tense as Morris grew up in the 1960s. When she saw her friend being dragged by four police officers, screaming "I've done nothing" as he went, Morris tried to help him, an action which resulted in her being brutally beaten and arrested. Morris recalled being grabbed by the neck, thrown, slapped, kicked in the chest by officers who later racially abused and made sexualised threats to her - including stripping her and threatening her with rape - at the police station. By this time she'd helped found the British Black Panther Movement - later the British Black Panthers, which fought for equal housing, employment and education rights and against racial discrimination. The group swelled to more than 3,000 members as it helped expose racism in schools, the police and government. Its most famous campaign was defending the Mangrove Restaurant, a Caribbean restaurant in Notting Hill, which became subject to frequent police raids by officers claiming to be looking for drugs. After the movement disbanded in 1973, Morris went on to co-found the Brixton Black Women's Group and the Organisation of Women of Asian and Afrcian Descent. There, she campaigned for better access to education, decent living conditions for Britain's black communities. As well as this she was heavily involved in the squatters' campaign of the 1970s, opening the squat in Brixton's Railton Road in 1973, a place which quickly became a hub of community groups and political activism. The Railton Road site eventually became the 121 Centre, continuing to house campaign and community groups until all squatters were evicted in 1999. In the mid-1970s Morris studied for a degree in social sciences at Manchester University and became involved in some of the city's groups, such as the Manchester Black Women's Cooperative. With the plight of black women close to her heart, Morris travelled extensively. After returning to the UK she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and passed away at Lambeth's St Thomas's Hospital on July 12 1979 aged just 27. Morris has continued to be remembered by the local community since her death. Since 2011 the Olive Morris memorial award has given bursaries to young black women. Friday's Google Doodle - a mural painting by Matthew Cruickshank showing Morris on her street of Railton Road, Brixton - helps celebrate the life of this inspirational woman on what would have been her 68th birthday. Google Arts and Culture is also featuring a dedicated exhibition of artwork by Linett Kamala inspired by the activism of Ms Morris, in partnership with the Black Cultural Archives. "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," a Google spokesperson said. "We hope that by recognising and celebrating Olive Morris with a Google Doodle, we can inspire others to keep pushing forward for change."