TGRG Client Dr. Delia Jarrett-Macauley celebrates today as the life of journalist, activist and poet Una Marson is honoured with a Google Doodle.
Dr. Jarrett-Macauley is an internationally regarded academic, broadcaster and Orwell Prize-winning author with a career spanning over three decades.
With an unwavering passion for storytelling, Delia dedicated seven years of her life researching and creating the first book documenting the life of the Jamaican icon, Una Marson.
The book, The Life of Una Marson 1905 – 1965, was published by Manchester Press and would go on to be the blueprint for future research done on Marson. Delia’s extensive knowledge, cultivated as Una’s biographer, led to her being commissioned to devise and produce ‘The Una Marson Story’ for BBC Radio 3.
Of today’s honour Delia said “I’m so proud that Una Marson is being recognised through Sarah Madden’s beautiful Doodle. Una was a significant black female voice of the 20th century, advocating for Jamaica’s women and children and initiating the pioneering BBC programme Caribbean Voices. I believe she would have been amazed to observe her accomplishments gaining wider recognition—students reading her poetry, companies reviving her plays—and I wish she could have seen this special acknowledgement of her lasting legacy.”
TGRG Managing Director, Juanita Rosenior, said “I am truly honoured that Delia would allow me to represent her on this work with Google. It is time for the world to recognise Una outside of academia but also to acknowledge that her contribution could have been lost had it not been for Delia’s painstaking work.
“I feel proud to be the Black woman getting to tell the story of a phenomenal Black woman who dedicated almost a decade of her life making sure that the world would hear another Black woman’s story.”
You can purchase Delia’s seminal book The Life of Una Marson 1905-65 from our literary arm SixByNines&Co’s bookshop.
Who was Una Marson?
Una Marson was the first Black woman to be employed as a producer at the BBC, where she recorded several significant interviews including one with swing band icon Ken “Snakehips” Johnson, which took place on this day in 1940. At the BBC, Marson worked with George Orwell, read her poetry alongside T.S.Eliot, and produced the popular weekly programme, “Calling the West Indies.”
Born Feb 6, 1905, in Jamaica’s Santa Cruz, by the age of just 23, Marson would become the country’s first woman magazine publisher and editor, when she established “The Cosmopolitan”—a publication focused on gender issues and social injustice. Marson worked to cultivate a new generation of Jamaican writers, whilst funding and writing her own poetry and plays and even founding Jamaica’s Save the Children Fund.
When emigrating to London, Marson was shocked by the racism she encountered and fought for equal rights alongside Dr. Harold Moody, the founder of civil rights group The League of Coloured Peoples.