Honorary WhiteAcclaimed author E. R. Braithwaite (To Sir, With Love) chronicles the brutality, oppression, and courage he witnessed as a black man granted “Honorary White” status during a six-week visit to apartheid South Africa
As a black man living in a white-dominated world, author E. R. Braithwaite was painfully aware of the multitude of injustices suffered by people of color and he wrote powerfully and poignantly about racial discrimination in his acclaimed novels and nonfiction works. So it came as a complete surprise when, in 1973, the longstanding ban on his books was lifted by the South African government, a ruling body of minority whites that brutally oppressed the black majority through apartheid laws. Applying for a visa—and secretly hoping to be refused—he was granted the official status of “Honorary White” for the length of his stay. As such, Braithwaite would be afforded some of the freedoms that South Africa’s black population was denied, yet would nonetheless be considered inferior by the white establishment.
With Honorary White, Braithwaite bears witness to a dark and troubling time, relating with grave honesty and power the shocking abuses, inequities, and horrors he observed and experienced firsthand during his six-week stay in a criminal nation. His book is a personal testament to the savagery of apartheid and to the courage of those who refused to be broken by it.
- Pub Date
- Open Road Integrated Media
“A valuable, even unique perspective.” —Kirkus Reviews
About the author
E. R. Braithwaite
E. R. Braithwaite was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) in 1912. Educated at the City College of New York and the University of Cambridge, he served in the Royal Air Force during World War II. Braithwaite spent 1950 to 1960 in London, first as a schoolteacher and then as a welfare worker—experiences he described in To Sir, With Love and Paid Servant, respectively. In 1966 he was appointed Guyana’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations. He also held positions at the World Veterans Federation and UNESCO, was a professor of English at New York University’s Institute for Afro-American Affairs, taught creative writing at Howard University, and was the author of five nonfiction books and two novels. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 104.