Una Marson’s Impact On Feminism

The founding principle of Black feminism, often referred to as afro-feminist, is that Black women are naturally valued and that (Black women’s) freedom is a requirement not as an auxiliary to somebody else’s but because our need as human individuals for autonomy. Women’s devotion to freedom and equality has frequently been undervalued. The intersectionality of gender, sexual orientation, and class has, nevertheless, become a matter of grave concern with black women leading each decade. Black women had a significant role in raising awareness of a variety of important problems during and after the Civil Rights movement. Una Victoria Marson, a feminist, activist, and poet from Jamaica, is the subject of this specific article and played a prominent role in the rise of black feminism in the 1900’s.
Una Marson, the sixth and youngest child of a Bishop, lived a typical middle-class life in Jamaica. Hampton High School provided her with a colonial English public education, and in 1921, she earned her Lower Certificate from the Oxford and Cambridge Board. Since there was no university in the West Indies, Marson moved to Kingston to study social work before transitioning into journalism.

What Man Has Done, Women May Do.”

Una Marson foresaw her own future as one of Jamaica’s most significant female poets when she penned those remarks in 1928. At the age of 21, Marson became the first magazine publisher in the nation. She then embarked on a journey that would see her publish poetry and plays, confront racism, gender issues, social injustices and sexism in London and around the globe, as well as infuse the male-dominated black internationalist movement with a black feminist sensibility. She made a trip to London in 1932, where she was the first black woman to work for the BBC during the Second World War. She took over as producer of the radio program, “Calling the West Indies,” in 1942, transforming it into, “Caribbean Voices,” a significant platform for Caribbean literary work. This trip ignited her political activism and altered the tone of her poems bringing out her passion for relevance of a female perspective on different topics. While the topics of identity and love were the emphasis of her first book, Tropic Reveries, which was released two years earlier, the racism and prejudice she experienced in the metropole impacted not just the issues she dealt with, but also the way she wrote about them from an oppressed woman’s standpoint of view.

Una Marson’s poetry and platform gave the largely male-dominated black internationalist movement a crucial female viewpoint despite her contributions not being widely known. Although she is most recognized for her radio broadcasts, her writing and poetry have expanded her legacy for future generations to discover. Her accomplishments were recognized in 2009 when a Blue Plaque, which celebrates those who have made significant contributions to their community and beyond, was erected outside her former residence in London’s Brunswick Park.
Thanks to Una Marson, we get to celebrate a cultural innovator, activist, Feminist and a poet!

Visit our website and follow us to learn more about these incredible people and much more.

This article was written by Maya Mitala.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s