JIS News

The life and work of Jamaica’s foremost cultural icon, the late Louise Bennett-Coverley (Miss Lou), were highlighted at an exhibition at the St. Thomas Parish Library in Morant Bay, yesterday (September 22).
Jointly sponsored by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and the St. Thomas Parish Library, the exhibition was aimed at keeping the memory of Miss Lou alive.
It featured posters, graphical presentations, sketches, newspaper clippings and books on the life and work of Miss Lou.
The JCDC’s cultural organizer in St. Thomas, Beverly Edwards explained to JIS News that the exhibition, part of an islandwide campaign, would also help to re-instill in the minds of young Jamaicans, the contribution Miss Lou made in defining Jamaica’s cultural heritage.
“There are some of us who still believe that the Jamaican dialect is something we should not preserve. It is our culture; we have a rich cultural heritage, the dialect is a significant part of that and I know the students would leave with a confidence that the language they speak is important,” she said.
She pointed out that students are always encouraged to read and write about the work of Miss Lou as a means of keeping her memories alive.
English Teacher at Paul Bogle High School, Sherine McFarlane told JIS News that hosting the exhibition in the parish was a good thing, and that her students would benefit immensely.
“At school, the students have been exposed to a lot of Miss Lou’s poems, but in terms of her life and her work, they wouldn’t have known a lot, so this exhibition would give them much more information about her and help them to understand her work,” she noted.
This view was shared by some of the many students who came to view the exhibition. Eighth grader of Paul Bogle High, Alcian Hylton, told JIS News that the exhibition was beneficial to students who knew very little about what Miss Lou actually did.
“Miss Lou tried to teach us that the Jamaican language was not a bad way of speaking and when I go back to school, I will tell my friends to follow the steps made by Miss Lou, if they want to succeed in life,” Nevin Nicholas, a student at Trinityville Primary School told JIS News.
The one-day exhibition was previously staged in Clarendon, Kingston and St. Elizabeth. It will be taken to the head office of the JCDC on Phoenix Avenue in Kingston on September 27.

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