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Olive and me in the archive: a Black British woman in an archival space

Longley, Oumou (2021) Olive and me in the archive: a Black British woman in an archival space. Feminist Review, 129 (1). 123 - 137. ISSN 0141-7789

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Identification Number: 10.1177/01417789211041898


This article aims to explore how the archival life of Olive Morris might radically rebuff the devaluation of Black womanhood and identity in Britain. Harnessing a Black feminist framework, I approach Lambeth Archives, where the Olive Morris Collection is found as a therapeutic space. Through an understanding of Olive as complex, I disrupt hegemonic expectations of Black women and propose that within the space of this research, Black womanhood be allowed the freedom of self-definition. In a conglomeration of the documents and voices of the community that remembers Olive, marginalised epistemologies are legitimised. Their sometimes-conflicting accounts generate an unbounded image of Olive as a figure of Black British women’s history that harbours meaning as it is mobilised in social consciousness. Incorporating my own auto-ethnographic reflections, I explore the internal and external impact of Olive and my existence in this archival space.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: Gender Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2022 15:27
Last Modified: 31 May 2024 04:27

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