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E R Braithwaite

Guyana (1920 - )

E.R. (Edward Ricardo) Braithwaite is a novelist, writer, teacher, and diplomat, best known for his stories of social conditions and racial discrimination against black people.

An alumnus of Queens College, Braithwaite excelled at City University of New York, after which he served in the RAF during WWII as a fighter pilot (1941-45) and then went on to receive an advanced degree in Physics from Cambridge University (1949). Braithwaite also attended the University of London.

Unable to establish a career in physics, his chosen field, which he attributed to his status as an ethnic minority, Braithwaite turned to teaching.

Braithwaite is perhaps best known as an author for his autobiographical novel To Sir With Love set in an east London secondary school, later directed, produced and adapted for the screen by james clavell starring Sidney Poitier as a schoolteacher from British Guiana.

Braithwaite gave up teaching and continued writing, during this time he became a social worker with the London County Council working to provide foster care for black children.

He would later describe these challenging experiences in Paid Servant.

Braithwaite's long and exemplary career took him to UNESCO in Paris as an educational consultant and lecturer (1963-1966). Then he served as a Guyanese ambassador in the late sixties. First as Guyanese Ambassador to the United Nations (1967-68), then as Guyanese Ambassador to Venezuela (1968-69). He was World Veterans' Foundation Human Rights Officer, Paris (1960-63).

Braithwaite returned to teaching as a professor of English, at New York University and later in 2002 held the position of Writer in Residence at Howard University in Washington DC.

Braithwaite was a visiting professor at Manchester Community College, Connecticut, during the 2005-2006 school year, also serving as commencement speaker and receiving an honorary degree.

In August 2007 Braithwaite received the Guyana Cultural Association of New York's Exemplary Award for his work as an educator, a diplomat and an author.
Non fiction

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