JIS News

A community cultural tribute honouring the birthday, life and legacy of the late cultural icon, Louise Bennett Coverley (Miss Lou), will be held on Friday, September 8, at the Sierra Norwood Calvary Baptist Church in Miami.
Under the patronage of the Consul-General, the event will celebrate Miss Lou’s birthday, and remember her legacy, according to Norma Darby, Director of the Jamaica Folk Revue, a Florida-based Jamaican folklore group.
Miss Lou, who died in Toronto, Canada on July 26 at age 86, was given an official funeral by the Jamaican Government. She would have celebrated her 87th birthday on September 7.
Miss Darby, who is spearheading the planning for the cultural tribute, said that Miss Lou had touched the lives of all Jamaicans and “it is important that we continue to honour her work”.
The event begins at 7:00 p.m. and is free to the public. Several local artistes will perform at the event, including the Jamaica Folk Revue, the Tallawah Mento Band, the Roots and Culture Dancers, soloist Andrea Cole, Steve Higgins, formerly of the Jamaica Folk Singers, Queens Entertainment Troupe, the Sierra Norwood Children’s Choir, and dub poet, Malachi Smith, among others.
Miss Darby said that throughout her career, Miss Lou made immeasurable contributions in developing Jamaica’s culture. “She left us with a legacy which has given us pride and dignity in our rich, cultural heritage,” she noted.
She said that Miss Lou was an inspiration to all Jamaicans as she played a major role in preserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Jamaica.
Miss Lou’s last visit to Jamaica was as special guest of the Government during Independence and Emancipation celebrations in 2003, at which time she participated in several activities in observance of the nation’s 41st anniversary.
Throughout her career, Miss Lou was the recipient of many awards and accolades, including Jamaica’s Order of Merit in 2001, the Order of Jamaica in 1974, the Norman Manley Award for Excellence in the field of Arts, the Institute of Jamaica’s Musgrave Silver and Gold medals for distinguished eminence in the field of Arts and Culture, and in 1983 the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of the West Indies.