‘This is the Age of Woman’: Black Feminism and Black Internationalism in the Works of Una Marson, 1928-1938

Imaobong D Umoren


Abstract


Una Marson (1905-1965) was an Afro-Jamaican intellectual who in the 1930s became an internationally famous feminist, Pan-Africanist, poet, playwright, journalist and social activist. Between 1932 and 1936 Marson lived in London and became involved in the burgeoning Pan-African movement and a number of British and international women’s and feminist organisations. In 1936, she briefly returned to Jamaica amidst the nationalist movements of the time before journeying back to Britain in 1938, where she remained until 1946. This article builds on and differs from previous scholarship on Marson through its exploration of the changes that took place in her black feminist ideas relating to race, gender and class between 1928 and 1938, and how these influenced her intellectual view concerning black internationalism. This article puts two arguments forward. First, Marson’s engagement with Pan-Africanism and her experiences of racism and sexism in London changed her vision of black feminism. Second, this change contributed to her bringing black feminism into the male-dominated sphere of black internationalism. Thus, it calls for more recognition of Una Marson both as a black feminist and a black internationalist

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