In Kehinde Andrews’ words “Black women weren’t just part of the history of the black power movement; they led it in Britain” .
Olive Morris (26 June 1952 – 12 July 1979)
Founding member of one of the most important black feminist organisations of the 1970s, OWAAD, Olive Morris was a Jamaican‑born activist who was truly revered amongst her peers. Enduring brutal police violence as a teenager, Morris was politically active before she was a legal adult. She joined the Black Panthers Youth branch as a teen and went on to fight racism and police brutality in Brixton for almost a decade.
Altheia Jones Lecointe
Trinidad and Tobago native Altheia Jones‑Lecointe, was largely considered the leader of the Black British Panthers in the early 1970s. Not just the leader of the women’s section, but the leader of its 3000‑odd members.
Founder of the Remembering Olive Morris collective, Elizabeth Obi worked closely with Morris from 1972, both in the Black Panthers and in founding the Brixton Black Women’s Group. Together, they successfully squatted the headquarters and set up the organisation from scratch.
Activist and author, Beverly Bryan was active in the Black British Panthers from around 1970. Alongside Olive Morris and Liz Obi, Bryan helped set up the Black Women’s Group as they took on education, police brutality and housing together.
This list is by far exhaustive of course, and honorable mentions should go to Barbara Beese, Gail Lewis, Stella Dadzie, Hazel Carby, Jessica Huntley, Claudia Jones, Amy Ashwood Garvey, Amy Jaques Garvey, Una Marson, Adelaide Casely‑Hayford and countless other black women who have collectively or otherwise shaped the Britain that we live in and constructed the boots that we attempt to fill today.