JIS News

The fourth annual Louise Bennett-Coverley Reading Festival, which takes place next Tuesday (February 1), will mark the beginning of activities observing February as Black History Month, at the South Regional Broward College Library in Pembroke Pines.

Under the patronage of Jamaica’s Consul General, Sandra Grant Griffiths, the festival will feature a panel discussion titled “Mi Fren’ Miss Lou – Then and Now”, and her relevance to today’s society.

Panelists will include notable Jamaicans in the arts who had worked with her during her long and expansive career, including – Rev Easton Lee, author, storyteller and playwright; Dr. Ivy Armstrong, healthcare professional, poet and public speaker; and Dr. Susan Davis, actress, poet and educator. Moderator will be Dr. Marcia Magnus, educator.

The Reading Festival was started in 2007 by former Executive Director of the Jamaica Folk Revue, Norma Darby, following the death of the Hon. Louise Bennett Coverley, O.J. at age 86 in Toronto, Canada.  “Ms. Lou” was buried at the Jamaica’s National Heroes Park in Kingston.

The Reading Festival has explored and addressed the immense influence her works have had on Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora, over the year, Mrs. Darby explained.

The event is free to the public and will also include a line-up of local Jamaican talent from the South Florida Diaspora.

Proceeds from sales of Miss Lou’s works, including books, CDs, and other memorabilia, will support the Louise Bennett Coverley Scholarship, tenable at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston. The scholarship was named, posthumously, in her honour and is awarded to a student at the college pursuing studies in the performing arts. To date, there have been five recipients.

Library Manager at Broward’s South Regional campus, Valrie Simpson, said that the Library was pleased to partner in the annual tribute saluting the legacy of the late Jamaican cultural ambassador.



Cheryl Wynter (305-374-8384)