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E R Braithwaite

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 10 months ago

E.R. Braithwaite

Edward Ricardo Braithwaite (born 1922) is a Guyanan novelist, writer, teacher and diplomat, best known for his stories of social conditions and racial discrimination.


Braithwaite attended Queen's College, Guyana then the City College of New York (1940) and the University of Cambridge (1949), earning a Master's Degree in physics. During World War II, he enlisted as a Royal Air Force pilot. After the war, like many other black men, despite his extensive training, Braithwaite could not find work in his field and, disillusionied, reluctantly took up a job as a schoolteacher in the East End of London. The book To Sir, with Love (1959) was based on his experiences there. While writing the book, Braithwaite turned to social work and it became his job to find foster homes for non-white children for the London County Council. His harrowing experiences resulted in his second novel Paid Servant (1972).


Braithwaite's numerous writings have primarily dealt with the difficulties of being an educated man, a black social worker, a black teacher and simply a human being in inhumane circumstances. His best known book To Sir, with Love was made into a film starring Sidney Poitier in 1967.


Braitwaite continued to write novels and short stories even while he had a long and international career as an educational consultant and lecturer for UNESCO, Paris; permanent representative to the United Nations for Guyana; Guyana's ambassador to Venezuela, and teaching English at New York University. He is now living in Washington, DC as Writer in Residence at Howard University, teaching Honors English.

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