Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley, OJ, MBE

Jun 29th, 2015
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Born September 7, 1919 in Kingston, Louise attended Ebenezer and Calabar Primary Schools, St. Simon's College, Excelsior High School and Friends College. In the 1940s she went to England and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts on a British Council Scholarship.

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Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley, OJ, MBEBorn September 7, 1919 in Kingston, Louise attended Ebenezer and Calabar Primary Schools, St. Simon's College, Excelsior High School and Friends College. In the 1940s she went to England and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts on a British Council Scholarship.She first appeared in a pantomime in 1943/44 "Soliday and the Wicked Bird" in the chorus role - Big Sambo Gal. As the decade came to a close, joined by Ranny Williams, she became an integral part of the process to "Jamaicanize" the Pantomime. She drew upon her wealth of knowledge of folk songs and tales and wrote "Anancy & Pandora"in 1949. Perhaps one of her most lasting efforts was the song "Evening Time" - a song from the 1949/50 Pantomime "Bluebeard and Brer Anancy" which has become a Jamaican classic. She co-wrote "Queenie's Daughter" which proved so popular, it was revived twice. Her vast folk knowledge led to the publishing of several collections of poems, short stories and songs and was recognized by the University of the West Indies with an Honorary D.Litt in 1983. She was also awarded the Institute of Jamaica's Musgrave Gold Medal (1979). She was a major proponent of the use of Jamaican language and lectured and performed in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada. She was honoured with the instituion of the Louise Bennett Exchange Fellowship for post-graduate research in Jamaican/West Indian folk language culture at UWI and University of Toronto. Miss L

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