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Jamaicans In New York Pay Tribute To Cultural Icon Louise Bennett-Coverley With “Nine Night” On August 4 At St. Francis College In Brooklyn

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NEW YORK, NY – August 1, 2006 – In an effort to celebrate her spirit and preserve her legacy, Jamaicans in New York will on Friday, August 4, 2006 pay tribute to cultural pioneer Louise Bennett-Coverley who passed away on July 26 in Toronto, Canada, at the age of 86.

Consul General of Jamaica in New York Dr. Basil K. Bryan will be Patron of the event, which takes the form of a Nine Night, or traditional wake celebration, to be held at St. Francis College, Founders Hall in Brooklyn. Starting at 6:00 pm, the program will see performances from a number of Jamaican and Caribbean artists.

Among those confirmed: Afro Cariba Singers, Ancient Vibrations drumming ensemble, Caribbean Cultural Theater, Moneague Singers, Something Positive dance and music troupe, writer Andrene Bonner, dub poet Jabez, and folk musicians Wrickford Dalgetty of Guyana and Jamaican Molendeno Moxey.

The program, which is free and open to the public, is being staged with assistance from Brooklyn Caribbean Youth Festival, Guyana Folk Festival, the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Jamaica Information Service.

Affectionately called Miss Lou, this outstanding daughter of Jamaica was the island’s premier folklorist, poet, storyteller, and entertainer. A true cultural giant, Miss Lou, will long be remembered for bringing the Jamaican dialect to acceptable levels of appreciation in the land of her birth, through her poems in Jamaican patois.

It is widely accepted that in her poems she was able to capture all the spontaneity of the _expression of joys and sorrows of the Jamaican people, their poignant reflections, their religion and the philosophy of their lives. Famous for her radio shows which included ‘Laugh with Louise’, ‘Miss Lou’s Views’ and ‘The Lou and Ranny Show’, she was also celebrated for her television show ‘Ring Ding,’ which was popular among Jamaican children all across the island.

Consul General of Jamaica in New York, Dr. Basil K. Bryan is saddened at her untimely passing and supportive of the initiative to honor her. “Our nation mourns the passing of a great Jamaican, a cultural icon who more than most, with courage and with sheer audacity, forced us as Jamaicans to be proud of our indigenous culture. She was well loved and respected by all, without regard to age, gender or social standing, and we are all the better because of her life and legacy. I am proud to be the voice of the Jamaican community in the New York metropolitan region in saying “Thanks, Miss Lou, for the memories”.

Jamaica’s Ambassador of Culture Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley will be accorded an official funeral next Wednesday, August 9, 2006 at the Coke Methodist Church in Kingston. She will then be laid to rest, along with her late husband Eric Coverley at the National Heroes Park in Kingston.

For further information, contact Caribbean Cultural Theatre at 718-783-8345 or the Jamaica Information Service at 212-935-7506.

St Francis College
Founders Hall,
180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn
(between Court and Clinton Streets)

LIRR: Flatbush Ave Terminal
By Subway: A, C; F – Jay Street/Borough Hall;
M, N; R – Court St;
2, 3, 4, 5; Q – Borough Hall
By Bus: B25, B26; B52 – Fulton St;
B45 – Atlantic Ave;
B41, B63; B67 – Flatbush Ave

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Written by Staff Writer