To Sir with Love PDF/EPUB é To Sir PDF/EPUB ²

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To Sir with Love To Sir with Love was one of my favorite movies when I was younger Secretly I was in love with Sidney Poitier and envious of his students Why couldn’t I have a teacher like that? The book is well worth reading for a couple reasons For one thing it’s realistic than the movie As is usual in movies story line was sacrificed to intensify drama In the book you have narration background and real characters including development It’s less gripping perhaps but infinitely preferableAlso the actual book has another purpose which the movie largely ignores—the story of a highly educated black veteran who tries to find employment in post World War II England and instead encounters very real forms of racial bigotry Here’s how the author describes it ‘To many in Britain a Negro is a “darky” or a “nigger” or a “black”; he is identified in their minds with inexhaustible brute strength; and often I would hear the remark “working like a nigger” or “laboring like a black ” used to emphasize some occasion of sustained effort They expect of him a courteous subservience and contentment with a lowly state of menial employment and slum accommodation It is true that here and there one sees Negroes as doctors lawyers or talented entertainers but they are somehow considered “different” and not to be confused with the mass I am a Negro and what had happened to me at that interview constituted to my mind a betrayal of faith I had believed in freedom in the freedom to live in the kind of dwelling I wanted providing I was able and willing to pay the price; and in the freedom to work at the kind of profession for which I was ualified without reference to my racial or religious origins All the big talk of Democracy and Human Rights seemed as spurious as the glib guarantees with which some manufacturers underwrite their products in the confident hope that they will never be challenged The Briton at home takes no responsibility for the protestations and promises made in his name by British officials overseas I reflected on my life in the USA There when prejudice is felt it is open obvious blatant; the white man makes his position very clear and the black man fights those prejudices with eual openness and fervor using every constitutional device available to him The rest of the world in general and Britain in particular are prone to point an angrily critical finger at American intolerance forgetting that in its short history as a nation it has granted to its Negro citizens opportunities for advancement and betterment per capita than any other nation in the world with an indigenous Negro population Each violent episode though greatly to be deplored has invariably preceded some change some improvement in the American Negro’s position In Britain I found things to be very different I have yet to meet a single English person who has actually admitted to anti Negro prejudice; it is even generally believed that no such thing exists here A Negro is free to board any bus or train and sit anywhere provided he has paid the appropriate fare; the fact that many people might pointedly avoid sitting near him is casually overlooked He is free to seek accommodation in any licensed hotel or boarding house—the courteous refusal which freuently follows is never ascribed to prejudice The betrayal I now felt was greater because it had been perpetrated with the greatest of charm and courtesy’ Later when the teacher Braithwaite begins dating a white teacher he experiences the same type of prejudice both from the wait staff at restaurants as well as to a lesser extent from her parents Perhaps the omission of the racial issue in the movie was as much due to the medium as anything else Books allow for asides and explanations which film is at pains to includeHowever it could be that Braithwaite’s ‘tell it like it is’ message about the race situation in Great Britain was ahead of its time and something the movie makers weren’t ready to take on just then All the reason to read the book as well as others by the same author Published in 1959 this book is probably best known as inspiring the film of the same name However Braithwaite himself loathed the movie made in 1967; although it certainly made his name Braithwaite came from British Guiana remaining in Britain after the Second World War Having found his time in the war without prejudice he was despondent by his life in a battered grey post war London Braithwaite is urbane educated and yet because of his colour is unable to find work One day in a London park he finds himself talking to an elderly man who suggests he tries teaching It is not the work that Braithwaite has trained for but he needs – he wants – a job So he applies expecting again to be rejected However to his surprise Braithwaite finds himself offered a post in a secondary school in a poor area of East London The Headmaster believes in offering his children support and care – not censure or discipline At first Braithwaite is wary of the young people in the class he is assigned to He feels that they are undeserving of his sympathy – they are after all white For him this is the only difference between the ‘haves and have not’s’ Still he is determined to do the job to the best of his ability and between them teacher and pupil’s begin to have respect for each otherThis is most definitely a book of its time While the author may rightly complain about racial stereotyping he is not above using very un politically correct about his class While the Headmaster states that they are ‘wonderful children when you get to know them’ Braithwaite sees thugs – the children remote uninterested challenging authority swearing smoking and acting without respect He calls the girls in his class ‘nasty little sluts’ for example and has an obsession with describing breasts As such it is hard at times to remain sympathetic with him – he often comes across as self congratulatory and a little smugThat said this is an interesting account of those times and of an area I know well and the problems faced by the population of the time – as well as those of the author himself He perfectly represents someone who saw Britain as home but was rudely reawakened when he faced the distrust and disapproval of the local population Yet in his new job he will awaken respect in those around him find respect for those he himself dismissed and also find love For all its faults this is a fascinating and heart warming memoir which will make you think The all time Classic schoolroom drama as relevant as today's headlines He shamed them wrestled with them enlightened them and ultimately learned to love them Mr Braithwaite the new teacher had first to fight the class bully Then he taught defiant hard bitten delinuents to call him Sir and to address the girls who had grown up beside them in the gutter as MissHe taught them to wash their faces and to read Shakespeare When he took all forty six to museums and to the opera riots were predicted But instead of a catastrophe a miracle happened A dedicated teacher had turned hate into love teenage rebelliousness into self respect contempt into into consideration for others A man's own integrity his concern and love for others had won through The modern classic about a dedicated teacher in a tough London school who slowly and painfully breaks down the barriers of racial prejudice this is the story of a man's integrity winning through against the odds This may not be exactly the edition I read back when This is another book my girl friend from high school gets credit for me reading In the heated racial atmosphere of the 60s and 70s this was a well read book and of course inspired a well known movie whose theme became a hit songUnlike a couple of romances I read sticks with me from this book The scenes of the teacher confronting the at first rowdy youths he is attempting to teach and the frankly for the time lewd actions of some of them contrasts markedly from the people he's teaching by the end of the bookThis isn't a bad read I remember being moved by it though teens do seem to feel things intensely the book still does a job of reaching out to the heart of the reader I knew that To Sir With Love was a book about a black Caribbean man struggling with racial prejudice in 1950s London so I was uite amused that the opening — his description of travelling on a bus full of East End women — reads so much like a white colonial Briton describing the natives of a third world country It’s the combination of effortless cultural superiority and an anthropological eyeThe women carried large heavy shopping bags and in the ripe mixture of odours which accompanied them the predominant one hinted at a good haul of fish or fishy things They reminded me somehow of the peasants in a book by Steinbeck – they were of the city but they dressed like peasants they looked like peasants and they talked like peasants Their cows were motor driven milk floats; their tools were mop and pail and kneeling pad; their farms a forest of steel and concrete In spite of the hairgrips and headscarves they had their own kind of dignityThey joshed and chivvied each other and the conductor in an endless stream of lewdly suggestive remarks and retorts uite careless of being overheard by me – a Negro and the only other male on the bus The conductor a lively uick witted felllow seemed to know them all well enough to address them on very personal terms and kept them in noisy good humour with a stream of uips and pleasantries to which they made reply in kind Sex seemed little than a joke to them a conversation piece which alternated with their comments on the weather and their vividly detailed discussions on their actual or imagined ailmentsThere was another particularly fine example of the type later on the bookI did not go over to him these Cockneys are proud people and prefer to be left to themselves at times when they feel ashamedIt could be a conscious literary decision to subvert expectations but firstly Braithwaite doesn’t particularly strike me as that kind of writer — he’s generally pretty direct — and also I can imagine a white British writer with a similar educational background writing in much the same way; like Orwell’s representation of the proles in 1984In other words it’s partially a class thing; Braithwaite was from a very educated background; both his parents went to Oxford which I assume was pretty rare in Guyana at the start of the C20th and he studied in New York before serving as a pilot in the RAF during the war and then doing a Master’s degree at Cambridge But then race is always partially about class The class structure is one of the ways that racial status can be monitored and enforced And it was only because of Braithwaite’s race that he was doing what no similarly educated white Briton would be doing working as a teacher in a grotty East End secondary school He was rejected from all the engineering jobs which he was better ualified to do often on explicitly racial grounds in the days when it was legal to tell people that to their faces and fell into teaching because it was the only option availableSo that’s the set up educated well dressed black man takes a job teaching in a run down East End school full of problem teenagers And if you’ve ever seen a movie where an inspiring teacher goes to work in a deprived inner city school you pretty much know how the rest of it plays out he is stern but wise and passionate and he overcomes their initial hostility and prejudice to teach them the value of education and good manners and above all he teaches them self respect And he in turn learns his own lessons about not being such a snobby prude although he doesn’t learn the lesson that if you’re a grown man writing about fifteen and sixteen year old girls there are only so many times you can mention their breasts before it starts to seem a bit creepyI’m being a bit glib; there is a lot that’s interesting about this book and it’s well written But when I say it’s like a Hollywood movie it really does read like that And of course you wonder if it’s too good to be true Clearly he is an impressive man and I can believe he was an inspiring teacher and I expect the broad outlines are all true but for something which claims to be non fiction it just seems like it was written by someone who was willing to burnish the truth for the sake of a good storyIt’s not that I fetishise historical accuracy for its own sake — I don’t have much objection to things like characters being composites of several people — but I do worry that I’m getting a less perceptive less insightful book if too many if the complications and contradictions have been tidied away To Sir With Love is my book from Guyana for the Read The World challenge I seem to have been harder on it than I really intended I think it’s probably fairest to say it’s a good book which has aged badly But there’s still plenty to like about it A No frills book Read it during train journey at night yes people still use this old mode of transportation This book is highly relevant to the current Indian situation caste and colour have played a great role in the past centuries in India only after Independence has it been considered as a crime But still the social stigma of being born into the lower caste has its effect on the minds and hearts of many young children In Britain it was if you're black you might as well die in India if you're from the low caste you might as well die too No doubt we had many great leaders from the so called lower castes Ambedkar is my personal favorite this book opens your eyes to the prejudice that we have inspite of the indifference between people Hope we all learn from this bookPS I wish I could have a teacher like that Reread it after a decade Still having a good impact after all these years However it's a four star read for me I couldn't remember anything regarding this book from the first read but I can remember feeling sad when the book ended However rereading this memoir classic made me see things differently Even though the subjects handled regarding young adults and how to try to see things from their point of view I found some things to be pretentious and some things that I do not need to read from such books The first chapter was a bit difficult to get into not because the language or the writing style There are some sentences which turned out to be rather sexist and a bit judgemental towards women in generalThis book emphasizes a lot on racial discrimination even though the title itself promises about teachers and students And the use of strong language seem unnecessary at some parts Some parts seem pretentious in the sense that the narrator goes on writing about his good personality and so and so He rather seemed to be really interested in women which is depicted here and there which made me rather uncomfortable to continue reading the book The best part is that this book seems like a fictional read giving you the 'To Kill A Mockingbird' kind of vibe This book grabbed me from the very beginning If I had the opportunity I would have finished it in one sittingIt greatly appealed to me because I also was involved in the field of education and saw many children go through the school doors everydayBraithwaite wrote about respecting his pupils and in return they respected him And because of this respect the students became interested and actively participated in their learningEven though this is a partially fictionalized account of Braithwaite's first year of teaching it is a valuable resource for those going into the teaching profession Dignity courtesy and educationThat is what newbie teacher Ricky Braithwaite offered his unruly class of teenagersER Braithwaite is in fact the author of this autobiographical 'novel' This story is based on his personal experiences He was born in British Guiana present day Guyana to Oxford educated parents He had studied in New York and was a ualified engineer who expected upon demobilisation in 1945 from the RAF in which he served as a pilot to be able to find a suitable position He soon discovered that he would not be given any of the positions available The reason? He was black He was either told that he would not fit in that he was too well educated and sounded too posh and he had the temerity to wear a better suit than one interviewer or uite simply that the position had been filled Eventually he had to settle for the only job he could find teaching a bunch of potential ne'er do wells at a school in the East End of London In this work Mr Braithwaite mentions that in a sense it was better to be a black person in America as there at least racism was overt He was shocked and felt betrayed having voluntarily served in the RAF during WWII to find that the English whom he had thought to be non racist were in fact to a considerable extent covertly and sometimes not so covertly racistAfter a few hits and misses he soon established a good relationship with the unruly white fifteen year olds that he had to teach He soon understood how little they knew and understood and set himself the task to not only improve their manners and personal hygiene but to teach them practical things that they could apply to their daily lives once they left school One man cannot wipe out long existing prejudices but at least forty odd pupils learned to respect this dignified man and some of them perhaps went on to better things I'd like to think so One man made a difference In a spare 185 pages Mr Braithwaite packs a huge punchMany people of my generation will remember Sidney Poitier's wonderful portrayal of Mr Braithwaite in the 1967 film of the same name Popular singer Lulu also appeared in the film and the theme track of the soundtrack is sung by herER Braithwaite was soon to complete a Master's degree in Physics at Cambridge University His date of birth is given respectively as 1922 About the Author 1920 Introduction in this book and as 1912 in Wikipedia so take your pick ER Braithwaite passed away in 2016 Mr Braithwaite I'm sad to say that racism continues as much as ever One need only switch on the television to see from one's own living room innocent people being murdered in the street simply because of their colourTo Sir with love from this reader I loved this book; it made me cry I have heard the movie is good too but I have never seen it