This essay focuses on the Jamaican poet, dramatist, and broadcaster Una Marson (1905–65) and her turbulent career at the BBC between 1939 and 1946. Drawing on a range of unpublished archival sources, including files recently vetted and released for research since the publication of Delia Jarrett-Macauley's authoritative biography of Marson in 1998, the essay has two primary aims. First, to recover in greater detail and in more holistic terms than has previously been possible the personal story of Marson's professional relationships at the corporation. Second, to pursue what the director of Empire Services described as the “jealousies,” “dissentions,” and “rivalry” that Marson's appointment provoked during a relatively neglected period of black metropolitan cultural production in the early 1940s.
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James Procter; Una Marson at the BBC. Small Axe 1 November 2015; 19 (3 (48)): 1–28. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-3341693
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