‘This is London calling the West Indies’: the BBC’s <i>Caribbean Voices</i>

Glyne Griffith

in West Indian Intellectuals in Britain

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780719064746
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700426 | DOI:
‘This is London calling the West Indies’: the BBC’s Caribbean Voices

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The story of Caribbean Voices shows that conservative colonial attitudes could be as prevalent at the periphery as at the imperial centre, and conversely, that hostility toward the myopic authority of colonial culture could be active among those of privilege and influence within the imperial centre. The programme that evolved into Caribbean Voices was initially conceived by the Jamaican journalist and poet, Una Marson. The very centrality of Caribbean Voices—the fact that it was the only such programme broadcast from London—inevitably meant it became a hostage to fortune, each enthusiastic listener convinced of its partiality. Caribbean Voices is important in creating a new West Indian literature. It became the medium for a new Caribbean literature. Henry Swanzy, and the programme he nurtured, allowed many West Indians both in Britain and in the Caribbean, to become intellectuals and artists.

Keywords: Caribbean Voices; colonial culture; Una Marson; West Indian literature; Henry Swanzy; West Indians; Britain

Chapter.  6057 words. 

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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