Florida’s African American Library observes Jamaica’s National Heroes

Day in community cultural tribute

October 18, 2006 – A large turnout of Jamaicans and friends were on hand to pay tribute to Jamaica’s cultural icon, the Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley,, O.M., O.J., “Miss Lou” on Monday (Oct. 16) at a cultural tribute at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale.

In commemoration of Jamaica’s National Heroes Day, the seven national heroes were also honored during the event hosted by the Broward County Commission Libraries Division.

In honoring Miss Lou, Broward County Library Outreach Services Director, Ms. Tanya Simons-Oparah praised her immeasurable and distinguished contribution to the development of Jamaica’s culture and heritage internationally.

As a social commentator, the director indicated that Miss Lou made Jamaican folklore famous as she gave expression to the feelings and thoughts of the Jamaican people, the world over.

Several Florida based Jamaican artists kept the audience well entertained as they celebrated the work and life of Miss Lou through recitals of her music, verse and drama.

The evening’s entertainment featured a short story of famed Jamaican National Hero, Nanny, titled “If It Wasn’t for Nanny” presented by local performers, the Queens Entertainment Troupe.

Set in a present-day village, Nannyville, with flashbacks to the past the story illustrated scenes revealing the legendary powers of Nanny.

Written by Jamaican national, Maxine Osbourne of Queens Entertainment Troupe, the presentation also featured familiar folk characters such as Anancy and also revealed several facts about the Jamaican national hero who was credited for the leading the Maroon resistance to English domination.

One of the highlights of the cultural tribute was an art exhibition depicting the work of famous Jamaican artist, Barrington Watson’s mural “The Pan Africanist” now running at the Cultural Center.

During the celebration, the Jamaica Information Service, the Jamaica Folk Revue and the Jamaica Awareness, Incorporated, also mounted displays showcasing the island’s rich culture and heritage.