A Complete Biography of Una Marson


Una Maud Victoria Marson (6 February 1905 – 6 May 1965) was a Jamaican women’s activist. Una Marson was also a writer, delivering poems, plays and radio projects.

She headed out to London in 1932. Thus, Una Marson turned into the main black to be employed by the BBC during World War II. In 1942 she became maker of the program Calling the West Indies. Consequently, transforming it into Caribbean Voices, which turned into a significant discussion for Caribbean abstract work.

Early Years (1905-1932):

Una Marson was born into the world on 6 February 1905, at Sharon Mission House, Sharon town. It is close to Santa Cruz, Jamaica, in the area of St Elizabeth, as the most youthful of six offspring of Rev. Solomon Isaac Marson (1858-1916), a Baptist parson, and his significant other Ada Wilhelmina Mullins (1863-1922). Una Marson had a working-class childhood and was extremely near her dad. This is what affected a portion of her fatherlike characters in her later works. As a youngster prior to going to class, Marson was an energetic reader of available literature. That was at that time, the most part of English traditional writing.

At 10 years old, Marson was signed up for Hampton High. It was a young lady’s live-in school in Jamaica of which her dad was on the leading group of legal administrators. Nonetheless, that very year, Rev. Isaac passed on. Consequently, leaving the family with monetary issues, so they moved to Kingston. Una Marson completed school at Hampton High. However, it didn’t happen to an advanced degree. In the wake of leaving Hampton, she looking for a job in Kingston as a worker social laborer. Moreover, she used the secretarial abilities, for example, transcription, she had learned in school.

In 1926, Marson was delegated colleague manager of the Jamaican political diary Jamaica Critic. Her years there showed her news-casting abilities as well as affecting her political and social feelings. Moreover, it motivated her to make her own distribution. As a matter of fact, in 1928, she turned into Jamaica’s first female supervisor and distributer of her own magazine, The Cosmopolitan.

The Cosmopolitan, Magazine:

The Cosmopolitan highlighted articles on women’s activist themes, neighborhood social issues and workers’ rights. Moreover, it was focused on a youthful, working-class Jamaican crowd. Marson’s articles urged ladies to join the work force and to turn out to be politically dynamic. The magazine additionally highlighted Jamaican verse and writing from Marson’s kindred individuals. It was from the Jamaican Poetry League, began by J. E. Clare McFarlane.

In 1930, Una Marson distributed her first assortment of poems, entitled Tropic Reveries, that managed love and nature with components of women’s liberation. It won the Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica. Her poems about adoration are fairly misjudged by friends and critics. Because there is no proof of a heartfelt connection in Marson’s life. In spite of the fact that affection kept on being a typical point in her work.

More Publications:

In 1931, because of financial troubles, The Cosmopolitan stopped distribution, which drove her to start distributing more verse and plays. In 1931, Una Marson distributed one more assortment of verse, entitled Heights and Depths, which additionally managed love and social issues. Additionally in 1931, she thought of her first play, At What a Price. It was about a Jamaican young lady who moves from the country into the city of Kingston to fill in as a transcriber. Consequently, she falls head over heels for her white male chief. The play opened in Jamaica and later London to basic approval. In 1932, she chose to go to London to track down a more extensive crowd for her work. Also, to encounter life outside of Jamaica.

London Years (1932-36):

Whenever she originally showed up in the UK in 1932. Marson observed the variety bar confined her capacity to look for employment, and she battled against it. She remained in Peckham, south-east London, at the home of Harold Moody. It was where the prior year had established social equality association The League of Colored Peoples. From 1932 to 1945, Marson moved this way and that among London and Jamaica. She kept on adding to legislative issues. However, presently as opposed to focusing on composition for magazines. She wrote for papers and her own scholarly works to get her political thoughts across. In these years, Marson continued to write to advocate women’s liberation. However, one of her new accentuations was on the race issue in England.

The prejudice and sexism she found in the UK “changed both her life and her verse”. The voice in her verse turned out to be more centered around the personality of individuals of color in England. In this period, Marson not just kept on expounding on ladies’ jobs in the public arena. Yet, additionally put in with the general mish-mash the issues looked by blacks who lived in England.

Launch of the Nigger:

In July 1933, she wrote a poem called “Nigger” that would show up in the League of Colored Peoples’ diary. The Keys which she dealt with in a publication limit. Moreover, she became Editor for in 1935. Thus, one of Marson’s more strong poems tending to bigotry in England. “Nigger” possibly saw light seven years some other time when it was distributed in 1940.

Outside of her composition around then, Marson was in the London part of the International Alliance of Women. It is a worldwide women’s activist association. By 1935, she was engaged with the International Alliance of Women situated in Istanbul.

Jamaica (1936-38):

Marson got back to Jamaica in 1936, where one of her objectives was to advance public writing. One stage she took in completing this goal was to help with making the Kingston Readers and Writers Club. Also, to create the Kingston Drama Club. She likewise established the Jamaica Save the Children Fund. An organization that raised assets to give the more unfortunate kids cash to get essential schooling.

In promoting Jamaican literature, Marson distributed Moth and the Star in 1937. Many poems in that volume demonstrate how despite the media’s portrayal that black women have inferior beauty. Especially when compared to the whites, black women should still be confident in their own physical beauty. This subject is found in “Film Eyes”, “Minimal Brown Girl”, “Dark is Fancy” and “Unusual Hair Blues”. However, Marson herself was impacted by the generalization of prevalent white excellence. Marson herself, her biographer tells us, not long after her appearance in Britain “quit fixing her hair and went natural”.

Play Productions:

Obliging her women’s activist standards, Marson worked with Louise Bennett to make one more play called London Calling. It was about a lady who moved to London to additional her schooling. In any case, the lady later became achy to visit the family and got back to Jamaica. This play shows how the fundamental person is a “solid courageous woman”. She was having the option to “compel herself to get back to London” to complete her schooling there. Additionally in the women’s activist vein, Marson wrote Public Opinion, adding to the women’s activist section.

Marson’s third play, Pocomania, is about a lady named Stella who is searching for an intriguing life. Critics recommend that this play is huge in light of the fact that it shows how an “Afro-strict clique” influences working class women. Pocomania is likewise one of Marson’s most significant works. Since she had the option to put the pith of Jamaican culture into it. That’s what ivy Baxter said “Pocomania was a break in custom since it discussed a faction from the nation”. And, thusly, it addressed a defining moment in what was OK on the stage.

In 1937:

In 1937, Marson composed a poem called “Quashie comes to London”. It is the viewpoint of England in a Caribbean story. In Caribbean vernacular, quashie implies guileless or unsophisticated. Albeit at first interested, Quashie becomes disturbed with England. Since there isn’t sufficient great food there. The poem shows how, despite the fact that England brings beneficial things to the table. Moreover, it is Jamaican culture that Quashie misses. Subsequently, Marson infers that England should be “the transitory setting for entertainment”. The poem shows how it was workable for an author to carry out Caribbean lingo in a poem. Furthermore, this usage of neighborhood vernacular arranges Quashie’s point of view of England as a Caribbean viewpoint.

London Years (1938-45):

Marson got back to London in 1938 to proceed with work on the Jamaican Save the Children project that she began in Jamaica. Furthermore, to be on the staff of the Jamaican Standard. In March 1940 Marson distributed an article named “We Want Books – But Do We Encourage Our Writers?” in Public Opinion. It was a political week after week, with an end goal to prod Caribbean patriotism through writing. In 1941, she was employed by the BBC Empire Service to chip away at the program Calling the West Indies. That was in which World War II warriors would have their messages read on the radio to their families. Consequently, turning into the maker of the program by 1942.

During that very year, Marson transformed the program into Caribbean Voices. That was as a discussion wherein Caribbean scholarly work was read on the radio.

Through this show, Marson met individuals like;

  1. J. E. Clare McFarlane,
  2. Vic Reid, Andrew Salkey,
  3. Langston Hughes,
  4. James Weldon Johnson,
  5. Jomo Kenyatta,
  6. Haile Selassie,
  7. Marcus Garvey,
  8. Amy Garvey,
  9. Nancy Cunard,
  10. Sylvia Pankhurst,
  11. Winifred Holtby,
  12. Paul Robeson,
  13. John Masefield,
  14. Louis MacNeice,
  15. T. S. Eliot, Tambimuttu and
  16. George Orwell.

The last option helped Marson with editting the program before she transformed it into Caribbean Voices. She additionally settled a firm partnership with Mary Treadgold. The one who ultimately assumed control over her job when Marson got back to Jamaica. Nonetheless, “anyhow these experiences and unique interactions. There is a solid sense, in Marson’s verse and in Jarrett-Macauley’s history [The Life of Una Marson]. That Marson remained something of a segregated and negligible figure”.

Marson’s radio program, Caribbean Voices, was accordingly created by Henry Swanzy, who took over after she got back to Jamaica.

Facing Everyday Life after World War II (1945-65):

Details of Marson’s life are restricted, and those relating to her own and proficient life post-1945 are especially slippery. In 1945, she distributed a poem variety entitled Towards the Stars. This undeniable a change in the focal point of her verse. While she once expounded on female bitterness over lost love. Poems from Towards the Stars were substantially more focused on the autonomous woman. Her efforts outside of her writing appear to work in a joint effort with these feelings. However, clashing stories offer minimal substantial proof about what she precisely did.

Sources contrast in illustrating Marson’s own life during this time-frame. Creator Erika J. Waters expresses that Marson was a secretary for the Pioneer Press, a distributing organization in Jamaica for Jamaican creators. This source accepts that she then, at that point, moved during the 1950s to Washington, DC, where she met and wedded a dental specialist named Peter Staples. The couple supposedly separated, permitting Marson to go to England, Israel, then, at that point, back to Jamaica, where she passed on matured 60 of every 1965, following a heart attack.

Another Source:

Another source, wrote by Lee M. Jenkins, offers an altogether different interpretation of Marson’s own life. And says that Marson was shipped off a psychological medical clinic following a breakdown during the years 1946-49. Subsequent to being released, Marson established the Pioneer Press. This source guarantees that she spent a period during the 1950s in the US.

She had one more breakdown and was own up to St. Elizabeth’s Asylum. Following this, Marson got back to Jamaica, where she energized against Rastafarian separation. She then, at that point, went to Israel for a ladies’ meeting. An experience that she talked about in her last BBC radio station for Woman’s Hour.

The clashing insights about Marson’s own life show that there is almost no data accessible about her. For instance, Water’s article statements Marson’s reactions of Porgy and Bess. Yet, it gives no reference to this work. In mix with this is the restricted record of her writings during this time span. A large number of her works were left unpublished or coursed distinctly in Jamaica. Most of these writings are just accessible in the Institute of Jamaica in Kingston. They are available as an exceptional variety at the National Library of Jamaica. Given these requirements, understanding the entire of Marson’s achievements during the last twenty years of her life is troublesome.

Popular Culture:

In 2021, Google regarded Marson with a Doodle.

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