Last Friday I had the honor of attending the 2nd Annual Miss Lou Day Tribute/Celebration in South Florida on her birthday September 7th. The celebration was by the Jamaica Revue which we featured this month on the site. The performances were great and engaging. There were young and old performers. There were Miss Lou poems, reenactments of old time traditions (nine night), skits and songs. It takes alot to keep my 7 year old daughter form being bored for a 2.5 hours concert. She loved the performances so much that she wrote a little note saying this was the Best Jamaican show she had ever seen.
As each performer took the stage and paid tribute to Miss Lou I could not help but reflect on the impact she had on Jamaican culture. We cannot repay her for what she has done for Jamaican culture in every aspect. From the music to the language. Patwa became acceptable because of her. We can probably attribute many other parts of our culture that became acceptable and recognized because of her efforts.
I also reflected on my 1st encounter with Miss Lou. It was not in person but by email. She contacted me to correct one of the cultural articles on the site. She also requested that we add the name of a co-author to a poem we attributed to her. It was truly and honor to be corrected by Jamaican premier culture icon. We asked her for an interview and she obliged. She even did a live chat on our forums. For me it was one of the high moments for this site. She is one of the main reasons this website focuses on culture. I don’t think we really recognize the enormity of what she has done until we examine our culture. Unfortunately culture is one of those things that are subtle to many of us and can be sprinkle in “between” the major discussions on Jamaica. We know it is there but just can’t discuss it in a way that truly honor those that influenced it. We cannot repay Miss Lou for all she has done but lets honor her…I hope to see more Miss Lou Day Celebrations next year across the world.