The 14th annual Louise Bennett-Coverley Reading Festival will enjoy an evening of rich cultural conversations to be staged on virtual media platforms on Saturday (February 6), starting at 2:00 p.m.
Under the patronage of Jamaica’s Consul General, R. Oliver Mair, the event is titled “Tek Kin Teet Kibba Heartburn” and will feature one of Jamaica’s cultural entertainer and comedian, Dr. Michael Abrahams, an obstetrician and gynecologist by profession from Kingston. The annual event has become a staple of the Broward Regional Library schedule of activities celebrating Black History Month.
This year, special tribute will be paid to the late Reverend Easton Lee, who recently passed here in South Florida. Father Lee, as he was affectionately known will posthumously be the recipient of the first Lifetime Cultural Award “Lionheart Award” presented by the South Florida, Louise Bennet Coverley Heritage Council. President of the LB-C Heritage Council, Colin Smith, referred to Rev. Lee as one of Jamaica’s outstanding cultural icons, who “knew the depth of the Jamaican cultural from the grassroots up. He was dedicated to sharing it in a most excellent manner through his writings of poetry and theatrical productions.”. Mr. Lee, also a poet, author, and former broadcaster, had an extensive background in communications and honed his career at former Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation and also the Jamaica Information Service. He was also a member of the South Florida group. Readings from his works will be performed by Tiffani Robinson, production artist and protégé of Rev. Lee.
This year’s featured artist, Dr. Michael Abrahams got his start in entertainment in 2006, when he performed on the popular “Professionals in Cabaret” at Morgan Harbour’s, Deejays’ Original Songs on Stage. Later that year, popular comedian Owen “Blakka” Ellis, approached him to be a speaker at the launch of “The International Comedy fest 2K6,” on the topic of the health benefits of laughter. As was anticipated, he infused his presentation with engaging anecdotes often with a satirical slant. He immediately garnered the recognition that resulted in an invitation to perform stand-up comedy. His work is topical, and humor is used to cleverly make comments on social ills and everyday quirks and trends. Abrahams has addressed public health concerns and recently, took part in a public service campaign to fight breast cancer. His work has been described as similar to that of Miss Lou’s who was known as first lady of comedy and social commentator. A poet and theatre performer, he has been described as a talented Jamaica, extending his repertoire to include music. He is also a weekly columnist with the Gleaner online newspaper and has written incisive articles on human rights, the treatment of women in the workplace, religion and about boys in pain.
The annual Festival continues its tradition serving as a platform for conversations with other cultural artists and literary folks, whose readings were inspired by Miss Lou, the rich Jamaican cultural heritage and their folkloric experiences. Entertainment will be provided from a selection of notable Jamaican artists from the South Florida Diasporic community including the Jamaica Folk Revue and the Tallawah Mento Band. Poetry readings will be performed by Victoria Taffe (LB-C scholarship winner); Lauderdale Lakes, Mayor Hazelle Rogers, OD; South Florida students, four year-old Victoria Ward, and six year-old, Brielle Telfer. A birthday tribute to international reggae artist, Bob Marley, will be performed by Consul General Oliver Mair, and dub poet Malachi Smith,
To participate in the virtual event, patrons must register at www.louisebennettheritage.com.