Culture minister praises cultural icon on birthday
Lisa Hanna, culture minister, has come out in praise of the efforts of Miss Lou and has penned a missive to the media to mark the occasion of her birthday yesterday.
"Today is a special day on Jamaica's cultural calendar, marking as it does the 93rd birthday of Hon. Louise Bennett Coverley OM, OJ, MBE, D. Litt. (Hon.)," the letter began.
Hanna went on to indicate agreement with Miss Lou surrounding the long-standing argument that Jamaican Patois is a language.
"To say that Miss Lou is an icon of our Jamaican culture is an understatement. That she is a pioneer of the Jamaican language, its foremost proponent and local and international ambassador is beyond question," Hanna pointed out.
"Miss Lou's lifelong work was gaining respect for the Jamaican language and chronicling the vibrancy of Jamaican life and culture as portrayed through the vivid use of the Jamaican Creole."
The minister also pointed out the many roles Miss Lou took on during her life.
"Miss Lou was a social and cultural activist, journalist, commentator, entertainer, poet, teacher, historian, playwright, director, writer, performer among other things."
According to Hanna, Jamaicans are, today, more accepting of Patois because of Miss Lou's efforts.
"Through the significant body of work she left behind, cutting across various media, she inspired a whole new generation of Jamaicans who have become confident in our unique nation language," Hanna expressed.
"Additionally, she brought the world to the recognition of the authenticity of the Jamaican dialect as a medium of national and cultural expression in its own right."
The work by the cultural icon, Miss Hanna says, will not be forgotten.
"For these and other lasting legacies we remember Miss Lou today. Her fond memory will forever remain in our hearts."