Introduced by Bernardine Evaristo, this unforgettable memoir of a trailblazing Caribbean woman who forged a new life and career in post-war London is a rediscovered classic.
Working in an office amidst the East End’s bombsites. Serving as a lady’s maid to an Empire-loving aristocrat. Being repeatedly denied jobs due to the colour bar. Marrying an English man and raising two mixed-race children in suburbia. Becoming one of the first Black headteachers in Britain.
Beryl Gilroy’s new life wasn’t what she had expected. In 1952, she moved from Guyana to London to pursue her dream of teaching, only to face Britain’s racist post-war society. She faced fear and curiosity from her pupils, bigoted abuse from parents, and semi-segregation among staff. But over the course of her trailblazing career, Gilroy only grew braver, learning the value of education in combating prejudice and rising to become a pioneering headmistress.
One of the only books ever published by a Caribbean woman in twentieth-century Britain, Gilroy’s 1976 memoir is a lost classic. As vivid, entertaining, and unflinching today as it was almost fifty years ago, Black Teacher is a testament to how one woman’s dignity, humour, and spirit transcended her era. Introduced by Bernardine Evaristo, it will inspire a new generation.