DJ Linkage calls for hero status, $4,000 bill placement for ‘Miss Lou’ | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

New York-based radio broadcaster, Dexter ‘DJ Linkage’ Blake, has started an online petition to have cultural icon Louise Bennett Coverley, popularly known as ‘Miss Lou’, declared a Jamaican national hero.

Further, he wants the Government to make plans to place ‘Miss Lou’s’ image on one of the newly designed Jamaican banknotes.

“I think Miss Lou should be a national hero because she contributed so much to Jamaica and its culture during her lifetime. She inspired us to be proud of our language, patois, and culture in the way she dressed and performed,” said DJ Linkage.

“A lot of young people relate anything theatrical and cultural to Miss Lou; she has been one of the greatest cultural influences in our time. I believe it is time for them to tag the label heroine on her. I don’t see anyone else who was doing what she did for us culturally,” added the broadcaster.

Miss Lou is recognised as the first lady of Jamaican theatre, and her writing, poetry, radio broadcasts and performances, primarily with the National Pantomime, have become part of the nation’s cultural history. As part of the centenary celebrations, the main square in Gordon Town, St Andrew, was renamed Louise Bennett Square.

DJ Linkage said he is tired of the Jamaican Government playing lip service to the local creative industries, using the culture when it is politically expedient to curry favour with the masses and win elections, but ignoring them in key areas of national importance.

“When they want to reach the masses, they use patois, the culture and the slang, but in important situations, they have failed the creative industry. Why isn’t Bob Marley a national hero? Rihanna is a national hero in Barbados. Bob Marley is recognised internationally as a Jamaican whose ‘One Love’ song was recognised as the song of the century.

“We continue to benefit from Bob Marley’s greatness that he has done for us as a people in the hemp and marijuana industry. Marley should be on the $3,000 note and Ms Lou on the $4,000 note. These heroes mean a lot to modern day Jamaicans; they contributed to national building as much as our other heroes,” said Linkage.

Earlier this month, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, unveiled a new series of Jamaican banknotes as he opened the 2022-2023 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives. In the newly designed banknotes, which will be available late this calendar year, former prime ministers Michael Manley and Edward Seaga will appear together on the $2,000 banknote.

In addition, Paul Bogle and George William Gordon will appear together on the upgraded $50 banknote; Marcus Garvey will appear alone on the upgraded $100 banknote; while Nanny of the Maroons and Sam Sharpe will appear together on the upgraded $500 note.

Both Sir Alexander Bustamante and former premier, Norman Manley, who were founding fathers of modern Jamaica, will appear together on the upgraded $1,000 banknote, while former prime ministers Donald Sangster and Hugh Shearer will appear together on the upgraded $5,000 note.

“We can use this opportunity to right a wrong and give Ms Lou and Bob Marley the recognition they deserve,” said Blake.

DJ Linkage, who operates Linkage Radio in New York, is planning on moving the 2022 edition of his annual Linkage awards show to the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York after a two-year sabbatical.

“The event will be held in the Apollo Theatre and we are speaking with sponsors to make this an international event bringing reggaeton and reggae music together,” he said.