The Morris Family Papers collection in the University of Iowa Libraries – University Archives follows the academic and professional lives of two generations of Iowans. James B. Morris, Sr. was one of the first African American officers during World War I through the Colored Officers Training Program at Fort Des Moines. Later, he served as editor and publisher of Iowa’s oldest black newspaper, The Iowa Bystander, from 1922-1972. Morris Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa is named after him.
Georgine Morris founded the Iowa State Conference of the NAACP in 1939. Their son, James B. Morris, Jr. attended the University of Iowa from 1937-1941, and went on to practice law. The archival collection includes scrapbooks devoted to the family’s leadership in the NAACP, as well as the younger Morris’s college experience at UI.
Arlene Roberts Morris graduated from the University of Iowa in 1946, and later earned an M.A. in psychology from Drake University in Des Moines. She worked as a clinical psychologist at Broadlawns Medical Center from 1967 to 1991. She was the first African-American woman psychologist to be licensed by the Iowa State Board of Psychology. She and James B. Morris, Jr. were married in 1948.