Google is celebrating what would have been the 103rd birthday of Louise “Miss Lou” Bennett-Coverley in today’s (September 7th) Doodle.
Known by many as “Miss Lou,” Bennett-Coverley’s social commentary and sense of humour made her a well-loved personality across Jamaica and the world.
The folklorist and poet leveraged her sense of humour and social commentary through her poetry.
In 1942, Bennett-Coverley published her first book of poetry, Dialect Verses. This helped her to earn a British Council scholarship to attend the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.
The first Black student at the education institution, Bennett-Coverley was a trailblazer in every sense of the word. She went on to work at the BBC, hosting the Caribbean Carnival radio program all while continuing to study.
Bennett-Coverley then worked as a drama officer and later director of the Jamaica Social Welfare Commission.
In this role, “Miss Lou” moved around the country to train village instructors and regional officers with workshops like playmaking, improvisation, and more. She also continued to give lectures on Jamaican folklore in the United States, Canada, and England.
In 1998, the Jamaica government appointed Bennett-Coverley as the country’s cultural ambassador at large.
She was also inducted into the Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth II.
Bennett-Coverley was a champion of her country’s language and culture, inspiring Jamaicans to take pride in both.
Some of Bennett-Coverley’s famous poems include: Noh Lickle Twang, New Scholar, and Cuss Cuss.
Bennett lived the last decade of her life in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. She died on 27 July 2006 in Scarborough at the age of 86.
Her body was flown to Jamaica to lie in state at the National Arena and was interred in the cultural icons section of the country’s National Heroes Park.
Google doodle is a special, temporary artistic logo on Google’s homepages that is intended to commemorate holidays, events, and achievements, among other things.
The Google illustration was drawn by artist Robyn Smith.