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Una Marson

Una Marson was born in Jamaica in 1905, the daughter of a Baptist minister. She worked as the assistant editor of a Jamaican political journal and in 1928 launched her own magazine, The Cosmopolitan, which dealt with local, feminist and workers’ rights issues, aimed at a progressive middle class audience. In 1930 she self-published her first collection of poems, Tropic Reveries, followed by Heights and Depths (1931), and her first play, At What Price. Between 1932-36, Marson went to England, and her poetry was marked by her confrontation with racism, and her feminism was deepened by the International Alliance of Women. Returning to Jamaica she worked as a journalist and wrote two further plays and a third collection of poetry. She went to London between 1938-1945, where her most important work with the BBC led to the creation of the hugely influential Caribbean Voices programme. She also became involved with the pan-Africanist anti-colonial movement in this period. Her life after 1945 is far from clear, but involved time in both Jamaica and the USA. In Jamaica she was one of the early defenders of the Rastafarian movement from persecution.
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