This is the extraordinary story of Una Marson – trailblazing poet, playwright and campaigner, and the first Black producer and broadcaster at the BBC. A Caribbean woman born in the early 1900s, Una Marson defied the limits society placed on her.
Joining the BBC’s Empire Service during World War II, she was the first broadcaster to give voice to Caribbean writers and intellectuals, bringing their stories and culture to a global audience accustomed to hearing only English accents.
During her time in London Una wrote and produced a play for London’s West End, the first Black writer to do so. She was also an activist, championing women’s rights, the rights of Black people, literacy programmes, the education of children, and working with the deposed Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie.
For this drama-documentary Una is brought to life by L&C’s wonderful Seroca Davis. Using Una’s writing, letters and her BBC personnel file, we gain a unique insight into her extraordinary life and work. We also hear from leading academics and her friends, who consider Una’s life as a black woman in a professional role in Britain at a time when that was highly unusual – and the personal costs attached.
See Seroca as Una Marson on 23rd October, 9pm, BBC2 & BBC iPlayer