Louise Bennett – Miss Lou – is celebrated for her extensive cultural legacy to Jamaican arts as a poet, storyteller, actress, activist, singer, and comedienne.

Norma Darby – spreading warmth of Jamaican culture in Florida

The Gleaner - Published:Nov. 22, 2020

Lynda Edwards and George Graham

      Louise Bennett-Coverley is buried in Jamaica’s National Heroes Park, but ‘Miss Lou’ lives on in Florida. Her life’s work is vibrantly showcased by the Jamaican Folk Revue and the Louise Bennett-Coverley Heritage Council– thanks to Jamaica-born Norma Darby.

       Darby founded the Folk Revue after attending the Miami International Folk Festival, which featured cuisine, music, songs and dances from around the world. Jamaica’s only representation consisted of the island’s food and beverages.

      “I saw the ways in which other countries showed off their cultural heritage,” Mrs Darby says. “And I thought, Jamaica has a wonderful culture, why not put it on display, too?”

At the time, her husband Percival (everybody calls him Val) was a professor at Florida International University, and she had trained as a medical technologist. But they shared a passion for the stage.

      “We met in 1957 during a production of Sunday Cost Five Pesos by my church’s theatre group,” Darby recalls. “He was a budding comedian and singer who played the lead role of Woody Mahoney in the LTM’s Pantomime production of Finian’s Rainbow. Even when he forgot his lines, his ad libs were hilarious.”

THE LOUISE BENNETT-COVERLEY

HERITAGE COUNCIL (FL) INC.

Miss Lou

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Fabulous concert featuring the Jamaican Folk Singers with Colin Smith and Musicians, Joan Andrea Hutchinson, Malachi Smith and Maxine Osbourne at the Coral Springs Arts Center, Coral Springs, Fl. - Sept 7,2019.

Don Parchment photos

donparchment@gmail.com

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Louise Bennett-Coverley - Reading Festivals -

2008-2019

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Cheers and Applause Greet Unveiling of Miss Lou Statue

There were loud cheers and spirited applause from the massive crowd, which gathered in Gordon Town Square, St. Andrew on Friday, Sept. 7, to witness the unveiling of a life-size bronze statue in honour of Jamaica’s late cultural icon, Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley, affectionately called “Miss Lou.”

Celebrating Miss Lou's 100th

As part of the Miss Lou 100th anniversary celebrations,

The Louise Bennett-Coverley Heritage Council (Fla) Inc., commissioned articles on Miss Lou from Jamaican writers living in South Florida for distribution to local Caribbean newspapers.

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The information on this website and the works of the Honourable Louise Bennett-Coverley are protected by copyright laws and international treaties. Unauthorized reproduction and/or distribution of her works is illegal and may result in imprisonment and/or fines. The intellectual property rights to the works of the Honourable Lousie Bennett-Coverley rest with her estate. For permission to copy, distribute, perform, broadcast, make adaptations or in any way utilize the works of the Honourable Louise Bennett-Coverley, contact the executors of her estate, Judge Pamela Appelt and Fabian Coverley at: legal@louisebennett.com