Olivette Otele


Olivette Otele (born 1970) is an historian and distinguished research professor at SOAS in London. She was previously Professor of the History of Slavery at Bristol University. She was Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society, and Chair of Bristol's Race Equality Commission. She is an expert on the links between history, memory, and geopolitics in relation to French and British colonial pasts. She is the first Black woman to be appointed to a professorial chair in History in the United Kingdom.


  • You are right to believe in the goodness of people. Keep doing what you do; working hard, loving, laughing, forgiving and doing your bit might not change the whole world, but it will change you for the best.
  • Diversity isn’t just having a black person here and there. It’s about where they can have some kind of influence and power, and have a say in how things should run.
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