Morrie Turner is the symbol of Oakland’s unique way it expresses its diverse culture. The famous cartoonist best known for his Wee Pals cartoon creations, is as much a part of Oakland’s Soul as the Tribune Tower, Lake Merritt, and the Oakland Coliseum.
But, even though Turner’s Wee Pals wasn’t ran in many newspapers in 1965, and because of the nutty racism of the times such that no cartoon featuring a black character was wanted, after the assassination of Martin Luther King, his take on American Culture ran in a number of publications: it’s in over 100 dailies today.
To me, Wee Pals was just such a natural way of looking at life it didn’t seem unusual to me. To look back and think, heck to think there are people who have problems with racial diversity today, is just sad.
Many Oaklanders know Morrie Turner as a friend to many in our city and a willing contributor of his ideas, thoughts, and his time.
This 2010 interview by Mick Founts is a great introduction to Mr. Turner and Wee Pals and his other works, and was made at the Oakland African American Museum and Library.
Turner was honored by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and the Oakland City Council on December 6th, a day Mayor Quan called “Moorie Turner Day” in the City of Oakland.