Actresses laud Miss Lou CornerSunday, September 12, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
The recent announcement of plans for a new monument to be placed in Emancipation Park in tribute to cultural icon Louise Bennett Coverley, popularly known as Miss Lou, has been positively received by many including members of the local theatre community.
Actresses Rosie Murray, Nadean Rawlins and Joan Andrea Hutchinson have lauded the plan to set up Miss Lou Corner inside the Corporate Area landmark and see it as a means to strengthen the relevance of the popular folklorist.
“This is a move in the right direction. Miss Lou is an icon,” remarked Rawlins.
“To immortalise her in a popular public place like Emancipation Park, a place that is visited by locals and tourists will add to reason why it's important to continue to remember her contribution in development of Jamaica's culture,” she continued.
The sentiment was the same for Murray.
“I am thrilled about the plans to add Miss Lou Corner to Emancipation park...I would go even further and encourage creatives to hold spontaneous readings and performances of her work. Miss Lou was integral to our acceptance of ourselves as a unique people with our language, our lifestyle...our culture and Emancipation Park is a major attraction to persons from all walks of life, eager to identify, relate and partake in what is uniquely Jamaican. I think this would also be an inspiration for poets, writers, recording artistes and creatives in general,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
For Hutchinson, Miss Lou is a trailblazer and should be revered as such, therefore recognising her in this fashion is absolutely important.
“I fully endorse the statue of Miss Lou in the Miss Lou Corner. Many in the business of entertainment do not understand that they stand on the shoulders of greatness and so every opportunity to honour the pioneers in every genre must be embraced. Miss Lou documented and chronicled the society for itself, using nation language, but we must also remember that Miss Lou was completely proficient in English as well, and never ever said Jamaicans should not learn English.”
In announcing the plan to establish the monument, Minister of Culture Olivia “Babsy” Grange noted that the monument is part of the legacy projects connected to Jamaica's 60th anniversary of Independence which will be celebrated in 2022.
“Miss Lou Corner will feature a life-size statue of our mother of culture, but it will be a statue with a difference. It will depict the love and care Miss Lou had for children. She will be in a sitting position with children having the opportunity to literally sit in her lap, while listening to her reciting poems and telling stories.”
The announcement marked the 102nd anniversary of the birth of Miss Lou last Tuesday.