Louise Bennett, affectionately called Miss Lou, is Jamaica's most beloved folk poet, performer, and collector; she was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on September 7, 1919. Her father, a baker, died when she was seven years old, and her mother worked as a dressmaker to provide for her only child. She was educated in Jamaica at Calabar Elementary School, Excelsior High School, and St. Simon's College, after which she received a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in England.

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Copyright © 2006 Greenwood Press. This chapter first appeared in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore.

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