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South Florida Community Tribute to Miss Lou – Friday September 8th, 2006

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A Community Cultural Tribute honoring the birthday, life and legacy of the late Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley, O.M., J.J., M.B.E., (Miss Lou) will be held on Friday September 8th at the Sierra Norwood Calvary Baptist Church in Miami.

Under the patronage of the Consul General, the event will celebrate Miss Lou’s birthday, and remember her legacy, according to Ms. Norma Darby, Director of the Jamaica Folk Revue, a Florida-based Jamaican folklore group.

Miss Lou (as she was affectionately known) died at age 86, on Wednesday (July 26) in Toronto, Canada where she had resided for more than a decade. She would have celebrated her 87th birthday next September 7th.

Ms. Darby, who is spearheading the planning committee for the cultural tribute to Jamaica’s premier literary cultural anthropologist, said that ‘Miss Lou had touched the lives of all Jamaicans directly and directly and it was important that we continue to honor her work.’

The event begins at 7 p.m. and is free to the public.

Several local artistes will perform at the event, some of whom include the Jamaica Folk Revue, the Tallawah Mento Band, the Roots and Culture Dancers, soloist Andrea Cole, Steve Higgins, formerly of the Jamaica Folk Singers, Queens Entertainment Troupe, the Sierra Norwood Children’s Choir, dub poet, Malachi Smith, among others.

Throughout her career, Ms. Darby, noted the immeasurable contributions by Miss Lou in developing Jamaica’s culture. “She left us with a legacy which has given us pride and dignity in our rich, cultural heritage” she continued.

Describing her as a cultural icon, Mrs. Darby said that Miss Lou was an inspiration to all Jamaicans as she played a major role in preserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Jamaica.

Miss Lou was buried in Jamaica on Wednesday (Aug. 9) at the National Heroes’ Park in Kingston.

Her last visit to Jamaica was as special guest of the Government of Jamaica, during Independence and Emancipation celebrations 2003, at which time she participated in several activities in observance of the nation’s 41st anniversary.

Throughout her career, Miss Lou was recipient of many awards and accolades including the Jamaica’s Order of Merit in 2001, the Order of Jamaica in 1974, the Norman Manley Award for Excellence in the field of Arts, the Institute of Jamaica’s Musgrave Silver and Gold medals for distinguished eminence in the field of Arts and Culture, and in 1983 the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of the West Indies.

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Written by Staff Writer