Miss Lou was a poet, writer, folklorist, and educator from Jamaica. Her real name is Louise Simone Bennett-Coverley. She passed away in Toronto, Canada, on July 26, 2006, having been born on September 7, 1919 in Kingston, Jamaica. She went to Ebenezer and Calabar for her elementary education before transferring to Excelsior and St. Simon’s Colleges in Kingston.

She enrolled in Friends College in 1943 and studied Jamaican folklore there in Highgate, St. Mary. The Sunday Gleaner published her poetry for the first time that same year. She received a scholarship from the British Council in 1945 and went on to become the first black student to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.

She was honored and recognized for her contributions to Jamaican literature and theater with several honors and awards. Miss Lou’s Room is a location at Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s Harbourfront Centre, which was named in honor of her accomplishments. In order to have portions of the fonds, which span the years 1941 to 2008, digitized and made available online as part of a digital archive, Miss Lou’s family donated photographs, audiovisual recordings, correspondence, awards, and other materials regarding her to the McMaster University Library in 2011.

Louise Bennett-Coverley
Louise Bennett-Coverley

Also accessible at the National Library of Jamaica is a selection of Bennett’s personal documents. The Miss Lou Archives, which were established in October 2016, are home to never-before-seen photographs, audio recordings, correspondence, diaries, and other archival materials.

Where Was Louise Bennett Coverley Born?

Louise Bennett-Coverley was born in Kingston in Jamaica in September 1919.


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