Google animated Doodle celebrates Jamaican feminist, activist and writer, producing poems Una Marson, the first Black woman to be employed as a radio producer at the BBC, on October 10, 2021.
Who was Una Marson?
Una Maud Victoria Marson was born on 6 February 1905, at Sharon Mission House, Sharon village, close to Santa Cruz, Jamaica, in the parish of St Elizabeth. Marson was the first black woman to be employed by the BBC during World War II, where she recorded a few huge interviews incorporating one with swing band icon Ken “Snakehips” Johnson, which occurred on 10th October, 1940.
As a child prior to going to school, Una Marson was an energetic reader of available literature, which at the time was generally English classical literature. At 10 years old, Marson was enrolled at Hampton High, a girl’s boarding school in Jamaica of which her father was on the board of trustees.
Una Marson completed school at Hampton High, however didn’t go on to a college education. Subsequent to leaving Hampton, she looked for some kind of employment in Kingston as a volunteer social worker and used the secretarial skills, like stenography, she had learned in school.
In 1926, Marson was appointed assistant editor of the Jamaican political journal Jamaica Critic.
Truth be told, in 1928, Una Marson became Jamaica’s first female editor and publisher of her own magazine, The Cosmopolitan. The Cosmopolitan included articles on women’s activist points, nearby friendly issues and laborers’ freedoms and was focused on a youthful, middle class Jamaican audience.
In 1930, Una Marson published her first collection of poems, entitled Tropic Reveries, that managed love and nature with elements of feminism. It won the Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica.
In 1931, because of financial troubles, The Cosmopolitan stopped publication, which led her to start publishing more poetry and plays. In 1931, she published one more collection of poetry, entitled Heights and Depths, which likewise managed love and social issues.
Likewise in 1931, Una Marson wrote her first play, At What a Price, about a Jamaican girl who moves from the country into the city of Kingston to work as a stenographer and falls in love with her white male boss. The play opened in Jamaica and later London to basic recognition.
In 1932, Una Marson decided to go to London to track down a more extensive audience for her work and to experience life outside of Jamaica.
At the point when Una Marson previously returned to the UK in 1932, Marson discovered the colour bar limited her abilities to look for some kind of employment and campaigned against it.
Una Marson stayed in Peckham, south-east London, at the home of Harold Moody, who the prior year had established civil-rights association The League of Colored Peoples.
From 1932 to 1945, Una Marson moved back and forth between London and Jamaica. In these years, Marson continued to write to advocate woman’s rights.
In July 1933, Una Marson wrote a poem called “Nigger” that would show up in the League of Colored Peoples’ journal, The Keys which she dealt with in an editorial capacity and became Editor for in 1935; one of Marson’s more powerful poems tending to racism in England, “Nigger” only saw light seven years some other time when it was published in 1940.
Outside of her writing at that time, Una Marson was in the London branch of the International Alliance of Women, a global feminist association. By 1935, she was engaged with the International Alliance of Women situated in Istanbul.
Una Marson got back to Jamaica in 1936, where one of her goals was to promote national literature.
She likewise established the Jamaica Save the Children Fund, an association that raised funds to give the poorer children money to get basic education.
Una Marson’s third play, Pocomania is additionally one of Marson’s most significant works since she had the option to put the essence of Jamaican culture into it.
In 1937, Marson composed a poem called “Quashie comes to London”, which is the point of view of England in a Caribbean story.
Una Marson got back to London in 1938 to proceed with work on the Jamaican Save the Children project that she began in Jamaica, and furthermore to be on the staff of the Jamaican Standard.
In March 1940, Una Marson published an article named “We Want Books – But Do We Encourage Our Writers?” in Public Opinion, a political weekly, in an effort to prod Caribbean nationalism through literature.
In 1941, Una Marson was employed by the BBC Empire Service to deal with the program Calling the West Indies, in which World War II troopers would have their messages read on the radio to their families, becoming the producer of the program by 1942. She became the first black woman to be employed by the BBC during World War II.
In 1942, she became producer of the program Calling the West Indies, transforming it into Caribbean Voices, which became an important forum for Caribbean literary work.
Una Marson’s radio program, Caribbean Voices, was hence produced by Henry Swanzy, who took over after she went back to Jamaica.
Marson was went to England, Israel, then, at that point, back to Jamaica, where she died on aged 60 on 6 May 1965, following a heart attack.
The most of these works are only accessible in the Institute of Jamaica in Kingston, as a special collection at the National Library of Jamaica.
Una Marson’s literary contributions are not generally known, and even less is known about her later life. However, it was her writing and poetry that impacted the telecom she is most popular for, and has widened her heritage for future generations to find.
In 2009, Una Marson’s achievements were celebrated with an installation of a Blue Plaque—which honors people who enormously affect their community and beyond—at her previous home in London’s Brunswick Park.
Una Marson was the first Black woman to be employed as a radio producer at the BBC, where she recorded a few significant interviews incorporating one with swing band icon Ken “Snakehips” Johnson, which happened on October 10, 1940.
On October 10, 2021, Google featured an animated Doodle on its homepage for celebrating Una Marson. Google Doodle was represented by UK-based guest artist Sarah Madden to honour this BBC interview recorded by Marson.