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Black Teacher : ‘A Hugely Important Memoir’ (Bernardine Evaristo)

Gilroy, Beryl, Evaristo, Bernardine
Format: Hardback
Publisher: FABER & FABER
Published: July 1, 2021
ISBN: 9780571367733
288 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom


The rediscovered classic: a trailblazing Guyanese woman’s memoir of post-war London, introduced by Bernardine Evaristo (‘full of wit, perceptiveness, humour and compassion’)Benjamin Zephaniah: ‘A must-read. Her life makes you laugh. Her life makes you cry. Get to know her.’Jacqueline Wilson: ‘A superb but shocking memoir … Imaginative, resilient and inspiring.’Steve McQueen: ‘Gilroy blazed a path that empowered generations of Black British educators.’David Lammy: ‘This empowering tale of courage, resistance, and triumph is a breath of fresh air.’Diana Evans: ‘Important, enlightening and very entertaining, full of real-life drama … Inspirational.’Paul Mendez: ‘Written with a novelist’s ear and sense of atmosphere … A vital and unique testament.’Jeffrey Boakye: ‘A landmark. Warm and wise … Life lessons we can all learn from.’ Alex Wheatle: ‘A pioneer in many fields and wonderful example for all of us … Essential reading.’Christie Watson: ‘A beautiful memoir of one woman’s strength and dignity against the odds.’

Being denied teaching jobs due to the colour bar. Working in an office amidst the East End’s bombsites. Serving as a lady’s maid to an Empire-loving aristocrat. Raising two children in suburbia. Becoming one of the first black headteachers in Britain. In 1952, Beryl Gilroy moved from British Guiana to London. Her new life wasn’t what she had expected – but her belief in the power of education resulted in a revolutionary career. Black Teacher, her memoir, is a rediscovered classic: not only a rare first-hand insight into the Windrush generation, but a testament to how one woman’s dignity, ambition and spirit transcended her era. Reader Reviews:’Incredibly important … Such an interesting read, and I am so glad that it is being republished.”Wonderful and insightful. I really, thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.”Eye-opening … A powerful reminder of how far we have come … Beautifully written … I wish everyone could have a teacher like Beryl!”Really lovely, and a surprisingly quick read … I wish I could have met her.”A great piece of history [with] so much relevance even today as it touches upon issues of race, education and female empowerment.”Excellent [on] what it was really like for the Windrush Generation… Highly recommended.’

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