Kingston, 24 July 2019 (JIS): Jamaica is to celebrate the centenary of Louise Bennett-Coverley (Miss Lou) over a period of 100 days, with special activities across the country.
These will be organised by various agencies, including the National Library of Jamaica, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and the Bureau of Gender Aﬀairs.
This was disclosed by Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, during her contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 23.
“This year, on September 7, we will celebrate the centenary of our beloved Miss Lou. [She] will be celebrated as social commentator, poet and advocate, and in particular, as chief exponent and proponent of the Jamaican language,” Ms. Grange said.
She also noted that in a tribute to Miss Lou, the Ministry has engaged the University of the West Indies to use the celebration of her life as the catalyst of a national dialogue on the status of the Jamaican patois.
“This will have implication for how patois is positioned in social and oﬃcial discourse,” Ms. Grange said.
Additionally, the Minister announced that March 21 is to be celebrated each year as National Poetry Day.
She also thanked Jamaica’s National Poet Laureate, Dr. Lorna Goodison, for her work in the promotion of poetry.