Jamaica News: The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will mount several exhibitions as part of the celebrations for the centenary anniversary of the birth of cultural icon, Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley, fondly known as “Miss Lou”.
These exhibitions will be mounted during the month of September, starting on the 7th at JCDC’s parish offices and parish libraries across the island.
Speaking with JIS News, Director of Community Cultural Development at the JCDC, Marjorie Leyden-Vernon, said the month-long celebrations, which include several activities, aim to engage and give persons the opportunity to participate and reflect on the life and work of Miss Lou.
Born on September 7, 1919, Miss Lou passed away on July 26, 2006 in Canada and was buried at National Heroes Park, in a section reserved for cultural icons. Known for writing and performing her poems, folk songs and stories in Jamaican patois, Miss Lou is regarded by many as the “mother of Jamaican culture”.
During the 1930s, she wrote and recited dialect poems and in 1942 she published her first poetry collection, ‘Dialect Verses’.
According to Mrs. Leyden-Vernon, the exhibitions will help to highlight Miss Lou’s works and contributions to Jamaica.
At the parish level, poetry-type competitions will also be hosted by the JCDC. “Persons will have the opportunity to perform their favourite Miss Lou poem and they will be judged to see who would have delivered the best rendition,” Mrs. Leyden-Vernon said.
She pointed out that Miss Lou was also instrumental in promoting the wearing of the Jamaican Bandana, and so several parishes, as part of their celebratory activities, will incorporate fashion shows using the Bandana as well as a Bandana fashion competition where awards will be handed out.
Special emphasis will be placed on including children in the activities. Mrs. Leyden-Vernon said that children and the youth will be included because in order to preserve something you need to try to ensure that your children and the youth know their culture and their history.
“Louise Bennett-Coverley is a national treasure and as our cultural icon, the JCDC sees it a very big part of our work to ensure that we commemorate and that all of Jamaica is involved,” she said.
Other activities during the month will include lunch-hour concerts, ring-ding style concerts, a floral tribute at National Heroes Park and special tribute concerts. Full details of all the calendar of activities for the Centenary anniversary celebration will be promoted on the JCDC’s website and all social media platforms.