We struggled along for years because the pay for artistes was not a lot. We didn't have named artistes on our books, we didn't have people with great reputations, we were building reputations. And that was our pioneering work. We were breaking stones and it was very tough. (Pines, 36)The Jamaican actor Lloyd Reckord, who arrived in Britain in the early 1950s, described her as a guardian angel to all young black actors in Britain:
Her house was always a home for people like us. And she just worked continually, pushing black actors, quarrelling with the powers-that-be, arguing Why can't black actors get this sort of part?, and generally working for us. (ibid., 53)Meanwhile Pearl Connor studied at the Rose Bruford Training College of Speech and Drama and worked as a broadcaster for BBC radio, making appearances on their Caribbean Service. She also acted in BBC radio plays, including The Barren One (1958), My People and Your People (1959), and Jan Carew's The Riverman (1968). There were occasional appearances on the stage, including in Barry Reckord's You in Your Small Corner at the Royal Court in 1960, and in such films as Lindsay Anderson's O Lucky Man! (1973). In 1961 she helped launch the Negro Theatre Workshop at the Lyric Theatre in London with a production of A Wreath for Udomo, written by the black South African Peter Abrahams. The company also presented Wole Soyinka's The Road (1965), staged at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, for the Commonwealth Arts Festival, and The Dark Disciples (1966), a jazz version of the St Luke passion, which was chosen to represent Britain at the first World Festival of Black and African Arts in Senegal. The Dark Disciples was also produced for BBC television in 1966.
J. Pines, ed., Black and white in colour: black people in British television since 1936 (1992) · J. Robeson, Reflections, Weekly Journal (c.1992) [undated clipping, priv. coll.] · P. Connor-Mogotsi, Our olympian struggle, 23 March 1995, www.black-history-month.co.uk/articles/pearl.html, accessed on 28 May 2008 · S. Bourne, Black in the British frame: the black experience in British film and television, 2nd edn (2001) · The Independent (14 Feb 2005) · The Guardian (2 March 2005) · The Times (22 March 2005) · J. La Rose, Eulogy for Pearl Connor-Mogotsi, St Martin's Church, Kensal Green, 26 Feb 2005, www.onepaper.com/caribiadigest, accessed on 28 May 2008 · S. Whyte, Connor-Mogotsi, Pearl, www.screenonline.org.uk/people/id/499408, accessed on 28 May 2008 · personal knowledge (2009) · private information (2009) · m. certs.
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Pearl Cynthia Connor-Mogotsi (19242005):