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BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR COLLECTION

100+ Voices for Miss Lou: Poetry, Tributes, Interviews, Essays

Published:Sunday | January 16, 2022 | 12:08 AM

Jamaican poet, folklorist, writer, singer, actress, and educator, Louise Simone ‘Miss Lou’ Bennett-Coverley, OM, OJ, MBE, had the instinctive wisdom to relate language to identity. As a people who have long since lost our identity, we continue to search for it.

The book 100+ Voices for Miss Lou: Poetry, Tributes, Interviews, Essays, edited by Opal Palmer Adisa, brings to life Miss Lou’s legacy.

There is an inter-relationship between language – the words we use – and our identity. In that regard, Miss Lou helped us to remember who we are. However, mental slavery is still with us. While we continue to deny our own language, our way of expressing ourselves, there is no escaping the fact that our language is part of our identity as Jamaicans.

Although a lot of our unique cultural DNA disappeared during the Middle Passage, Miss Lou had the wisdom and the courage to grasp what remained of that DNA and give voice to the voiceless. She did it with such decisiveness that we have lived to see the day when Patwa, or Jamaican Language as it is properly called, has taken its rightful place as an important part of our identity.

That is Miss Lou’s legacy.

100+ Voices for Miss Lou: Poetry, Tributes, Interviews, Essays is published by The University of the West Indies Press.

For more information, visit www.uwipress.com.