Louise Simone Bennett-Coverly, known as the voice of Jamaican culture both at home and abroad, passed away on Wednesday in Toronto. It was reported that she was 86 years old at the time of her death.
The Jamaica Information Service reported her death but did not specify how she passed away. She was taken to a hospital in Toronto after she passed out late on Tuesday night.
She brought an incredible amount of talent to the stage, radio, television, and cinema as a social critic who frequently employed Jamaican patois and popularized the Jamaican idiom “Walk good.” She also hosted shows on the Caribbean Service of the BBC.
Louise Bennett, better known as “Miss Lou” to her legions of followers throughout the world, was born to baker Cornelius Bennett and tailor Kerene Robinson on Kingston’s North Street on September 7, 1919.
Her mother did much of the raising after her father died when she was young.
Ms. Bennett went to school in Jamaica and, despite her love of reading, once called herself merely “an average student.”
She made her first public appearance in 1936, reading a poem in Jamaican slang at a concert on Christmas Day.
She kept writing in dialect, just like the famous Jamaican poet Claude McKay did, though he only played around with the style.
Ms. Bennett was shunned by the intellectual elite of Jamaica because they considered patois to be a lower kind of English than the posh tones of Oxford.
Louise Bennett-Coverley Cause of Death
Louise Bennett-Coverley’s cause of death has not been specified. According to several reports, she collapsed at her home and was taken to the Scarborough Grace Hospital but died on 27 July 2006 at the hospital. The Jamaica Information Service was the first to report her death