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Black Teacher

Black Teacher

ISBN
9780571367733
Published
01/07/2021
9780571367733
Format
Hardback
Price
£12.99
Paperback
288

About the Book

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.'

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 expected - but her belief in education resulted in a revolutionary career. Black Teacher, her memoir, is a rediscovered classic: not only a rare insight into the Windrush generation, but a testament to how her dignity, ambition and spirit transcended her era.

**WATERSTONES PICK: JULY'S BEST BOOKS**

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.'

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.'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 expected - but her belief in education resulted in a revolutionary career. Black Teacher, her memoir, is a rediscovered classic: not only a rare insight into the Windrush generation, but a testament to how her dignity, ambition and spirit transcended her era.**WATERSTONES PICK: JULY'S BEST BOOKS**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.'
  • Beryl Gilroy

    Beryl Gilroy was born in 1924 in British Guiana. She trained as a teacher in Georgetown before teaching in several schools and on a UNICEF food programme. In 1952, Gilroy arrived in Britain to study Child Development at the University of London. For years she was denied teaching positions due to the colour bar, but after finally entering the educational system, she rose to become the first black headteacher in Camden in 1969 while raising a young family. As well as her memoir Black Teacher (1976), Gilroy also wrote poetry, essays and fiction including the prize-winning Frangipani House (1986), Boy-Sandwich (1989) and In Praise of Love and Children (1996) as well as numerous titles in the pioneering multicultural children's series, Nippers. She later gained a PhD in Counselling Psychology and practiced at the Tavistock Clinic, as well as working at the BBC, the Race Relations Board and the Institute of Education, where she was an Honorary Fellow. Gilroy was described after her death in 2001 as 'one of Britain’s most significant post-war Caribbean migrants.’

“Gilroy deserves a similar level of recognition for her contribution to literature. Like ER Braithwaite’s To Sir With Love and Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners, Black Teacher is a rare document of Black British survival, doused in fury and humour and love.”
- Observer *Book of the Day*
“Fresh and vital ... Full of wit, perceptiveness, humour and compassion ... A remarkable pioneer ... A hugely important memoir about the 1950s from the rare perspective of a black woman transported to the colonial motherland and leaving behind this brilliant first-person record.”
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