Women Encouraged to Emulate Cultural Icons
Women are being encouraged to impact society by following in the footsteps of four cultural icons – sculptor, Hon. Edna Manley; folklorist, author, musician and actress, Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley; writer and activist, Una Marson; and opera singer, Mercedes Kirkwood.
The call came from Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, at the beginning of a cultural series titled ‘Four Women’, held on March 11 at the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), downtown Kingston.
“Let us be encouraged to follow in the footsteps of these four women and remain committed to making a positive impact in our society,” she said.
In a message read by Executive Director of the IOJ, Vivian Crawford, Miss Grange said the Four Women series will enhance the national consciousness about the nation’s unsung heroes.
She noted that the four women are just “examples of an array of outstanding women who comprise a distinct Jamaican heritage of excellence and passion”.
“These cultural icons paved the path that so many of us now have the privilege to walk on,” the Minister said.
She lauded the four presenters of the series, including Poet Laureate of Jamaica, Lorna Goodison; and Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn, who will present on March 18 at the same venue.
“As we reflect on the challenges and achievements of these cultural icons whose legacies have shaped our country’s history, we’re joined by an impressive group of contemporary women who are, in like manner, making their own contributions to their respective fields,” she said.
The Minister used the opportunity to congratulate Lorna Goodison on receiving the prestigious Windham-Campbell prize this month. She noted that the prize, a significant literary achievement, was unquestionably deserved by Miss Goodison.
“Her masterfully crafted poetry and stories on Jamaican lives have resonated with people all over the world across language, gender or racial differences. We are deeply proud of our Jamaican Poet Laureate,” she added.
At the event, writer and poet, Rachel Manley; and Associate Curate and Research Officer at the IOJ, Shari Williams, spoke on the lives and works of Edna Manley and Mercedes Kirkwood, respectively.
The event was organised by the Jamaica Music Museum, in association with the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ), in celebration of Women’s History Month in March 2018.