Turner (Morrie) Papers

Morrie Turner dips his pen in ink while working on a comic strip at his drafting table
Morrie Turner drawing cartoon at desk, circa 1970's, Morrie Turner Papers, MS 24, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library.

Morrie Turner (1923-2014), the first nationally syndicated African American cartoonist, was born on December 11, 1923 in Oakland, California. In the 1960’s Turner created “Wee Pals” a comic strip about an ethnically diverse group of friends. The “Wee Pals” originally appeared in only 5 newspapers but that eventually grew to over 100. In 1972 ABC produced 17 episodes of the “Wee Pals” as an animated series for their Saturday morning lineup. In 1965 Turner became one of the founding members of the East Bay Negro Historical Society (EBNHS).

The Morrie Turner Papers consist of five boxes, original drawings and comic strips of the Wee Pals as well as copies of those clipped from the newspaper. Also included are coloring books by Turner, family photos, professional correspondence and contracts as well as an oral history interview with Turner and original hand puppets based upon the Wee Pals. 

Dates: 1924-2014
Bulk Dates: 1965-2014
Collection number: MS 24
Creator: Turner, Morrie
Collection Size: 6 linear feet (4 boxes + 2 oversized)

Guide to the Morrie Turner Papers

Available at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO)

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