THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA’S PRIME MINISTER AND OPPOSITION LEADER EXPRESS SADNESS AT PASSING OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Upon the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96 on August 8, 2022, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed his “great and profound sadness” at the passing of the Queen, whose reign of 70 years was the longest in British history. Holness said, “We join our brothers and sisters in the Commonwealth in mourning her passing, and pray for the comfort of the members of her family, and the people of the United Kingdom, as they grieve the loss of their beloved Queen and matriarch.” Opposition leader Mark Golding noted that Queen Elizabeth II had been “a symbol of decency, stability and continuity” for many people around the world. He added that she was “much respected and loved” and expressed condolences to the family and people of the United Kingdom.
JAMAICAN OFFICIALS CONSIDER NATIONAL HERO STATUS FOR “MISS LOU”
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness and his Cabinet are considering recommendations to make folklorist, performer, and activist Louise “Miss Lou” Bennett-Coverley a National Hero, according to Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture and Entertainment. Grange made her remarks at the unveiling of a maquette of Miss Lou created by Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson to mark the 20th anniversary of the Jamaica Language Unit at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies. Grange said that as a member of the executive she could say that a review of the matter was underway by a committee led by Professor Rex Nettleford. She said an announcement about the recommendation would be forthcoming concerning Bennett-Coverley and the Order of National Hero, the highest honor conferred by the nation of Jamaica. Grange also said she was “elated” at the honoring of Miss Lou with a Google Doodle on the 103rd anniversary of her birth.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
HAITIANS ORGANIZE PROTESTS DEMANDING PRIME MINISTER RESIGN
Thousands of Haitians demanding greater safety and more affordable goods protested in the streets of Port-au-Prince on August 22, 2022, calling for the resignation of the nation’s Prime Minister, Ariel Henry. The protests were punctuated with occasional gunfire as protestors shouted, clapped, and marched through the streets of the capital that were blocked with trucks, rocks, and burning tires. The protests shut down coastal cities where police used tear gas to disperse the crowds. More protests have been organized as Haitians face an increase in gang-related kidnappings and murders, a rise in the cost of basic products, lack of fuel, and an inflation rate of 30 percent.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
LEGENDARY JAMAICAN MUSICIANS HONORED IN NEW YORK AT JAMAICA MUSIC EXPERIENCE AWARDS CEREMONY
Among the legendary Jamaica musicians and performers honored at the Jamaica Music Experience Awards in New York were Jimmy Cliff, Lloyd “Judge Diamond” Ferguson of The Mighty Diamonds, and the late Frederick “Toots” Hibbert. This was the second annual Jamaica Music Experience and True Tribute Awards event. It was held on September 10, 2022, at the Performing Arts Center at Adelphi University in Garden City, Long Island. The True Tribute Organization (TTO) was founded and is led by LeRoy Graham, Jr. Graham said the awards are a unique celebration of Jamaican culture, history, and development. It is meant to highlight the achievements of Jamaicans and their pioneering work to share the island’s cultural heritage and musical legacy worldwide.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
HASSANAH AL-SABA HONORED AS FIRST MUSLIM WOMAN IN JAMAICA TO RECEIVE PILOT’S LICENSE
Jamaican Hassanah Al-Saba, 22, received her pilot’s license on August 29, 2022, the first Muslim woman in the country to obtain the license. She was inspired to become a pilot through her enjoyment of flights she took in her life, such as visiting her grandparents in Trinidad. As her interest in airplane increased, she realized that flying made her feel free as she could leave her worries on the ground. Commenting on receiving the license, Al-Saba said she hopes to be a role model and inspiration for others, emulating Jamaica’s motto of “Out of Many, One People.” She said she is a “proud Jamaican” and wants to show her people that their dreams are within their reach. Al-Saba’s goal is to fly for commercial airlines and is pursuing training to obtain a commercial license. She thanked the Aeronautical School of the West Indies for her rigorous training and treating her with respect.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN CARTOONIST CREATES GOOGLE DOODLE HONORING “MISS LOU”
August 6, 2022, Google Doodle celebrated the 103rd anniversary of the birth of Jamaican folklorist Louise “Miss Lou” Bennett-Coverley. The American multinational tech firm Google commissioned the Jamaican cartoonist Robyn Smith to create the Doodle. Bennett-Coverley, who was better known by Jamaicans as “Miss Lou” had a long career as a folklorist, writer, activist, and entertainer, who was a strong promoter of Jamaican pride in its culture and language. The Louise Simone Bennett Coverley Estate collaborated with Google on the project. Cartoonist Smith told interviewers that she was “so excited” about her opportunity to work with Google on a Jamaican subject, especially “Miss Lou,” she “was washed with pride for Jamaica.” Born in Jamaica in 1919, Bennett-Coverley was instrumental in making Jamaican patois and accepted and appreciated language through her writings and performances. She was honored with many awards and was appointed as a Member of the Order of Merit in 2001 for her contribution to the development of Jamaican arts and culture. She died in her adopted home of Canada in 2006.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN WOMEN VICTORIOUS AT 2022 DIAMOND LEAGUE
Jamaican runner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a five-time 100-meter champion, completed the 2022 athletics season with a victory at in the event at the Diamond League competition in Zurich, Switzerland, on September 8, 2022. She claimed her fifth Diamond League title with a time of 10.65 seconds, equaling the meet record and providing the seventh under 10.7-second finish this season. Shericka Jackson, the only woman who has defeated Fraser-Pryce in the 100-meter event in 2022, ran the distance in 10.81 seconds. Jackson also won the 200-meter event, clocking 21.80 seconds and to claim her first Diamond League title. Jackson ran the 200 meters in 21.45 seconds, breaking the record at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, earlier in the year.