PEMBROKE PINES – “Daughters of Miss Lou” will be the theme of the 12th annual Louise Bennett-Coverley Reading Festival which will be held on Saturday, February 2, at 2:00 p.m., at the Broward College Performing Cultural Arts Theater, located at 7200 Pines Blvd, in Pembroke Pines.
This event will form part of the Black History Month activities coordinated by the South Regional Broward Library, and will also launch the 100th birthday celebration of the late Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley, OM, OJ, MBE, Jamaica’s cultural Ambassador.
The event is free to the public and celebrates the legacy of the internationally renowned folklorist, poet and author.
Under the patronage of the Consul General of Jamaica, the annual LB-C Reading Festival is jointly coordinated by Broward College, the Friends of the South Regional Broward Library and the Jamaican Folk Revue, Inc.
The “Daughters of Miss Lou” will headline an exciting program which will bring to stage four of Jamaica’s highly regarded “dawtas” – folklorists, storytellers and writers to take us on the cultural journey created by the mother of Jamaican culture, “Miss Lou” as she was affectionately known.
The presenters will include Poet Laureate, Hon. Lorna Goodison CD; actress, Pauline Stone-Myrie; educators and authors, Dr. Susan Davis and Dr. Donna Aza Weir-Soley. Moderator will be the Rev. Easton Lee, another of Jamaica’s renowned authors and story-tellers.
The evening will also feature entertainment by local performers including Tallawah Mento Band, the Jamaican Folk Revue and the Sierra Norwood Children’s Cultural Ensemble.
The program will also highlight culture “kulcha” riddles, quizzes and proverbs, reminiscent of the Jamaican vernacular. “Do refresh your memories on Jamaican culture, wear your national garb, and be prepared to win a prize or surprise” according to Colin Smith, President of the LB-C Heritage Council.
Several events will take place in Jamaica as well as in the Diaspora communities, to observe the 100th birthday celebration of “Miss Lou”, highly esteemed for her efforts to legitimize Jamaican patois and to celebrate the lives of ordinary Jamaicans.
In South Florida, later this year, the popular and highly successful Writer’s Clinic and a cultural Symposium are planned, as well as a concert with the Jamaican Folk Singers, scheduled as part of the 2019 Independence activities in August. More information will be posted on upcoming events.
The annual Louise Bennett Coverley Reading Festival was started in 2007, by Mrs. Norma Darby, President Emeritus of the Heritage Council, a not-for-profit South Florida entity, following the death of the cultural icon and internationally acclaimed folklorist, Louise Bennett-Coverley (Sept. 1919 – July 2006).
Mrs. Darby reiterated that Miss Lou’s “work continues to immensely influence many individuals and organizations through her volumes of lasting and immeasurable contributions to Jamaica’s cultural development.”
The annual event continues to attract overflow audiences consisting of nationals and friends of the Diaspora and serves as a forum for emerging writers and students of the Performing Arts, through the LB-C Scholarship program.
Following the inception of the Festival, the Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley Memorial Scholarship was launched. The annual awards are tenable at the Edna Manley College in Jamaica, and the Broward College in South Florida. So far, some 20 deserving students have been awarded the scholarship at both institutions. Proceeds from fundraising activities continue to support the scholarship programme.
Sponsors for the annual event include the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Jamaica National Bank (JN Bank), Riddims Marketing, Sandals, Neita’s Nest -Bed & Breakfast (Jamaica), Tallawah Mento Band, Jamaican Folk Revue, Broward County, Board of County Commissioners, Broward College, Friends of the South Regional-BC Library, XLCR Alumni Association (So. Fla), Antilles Freight Company and the Diaspora media.