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Who was Beryl Gilroy?

Beryl was a British pioneering teacher and novelist, and “one of Britain’s most significant post-war Caribbean migrants”, part of the so-called “Windrush generation”. Born in what British Guiana, she moved in the 1950s to the United Kingdom, where she became the first Black Headteacher in London. 

Although Gilroy was a qualified teacher, racism prevented her from getting a post for some time.

Between 1970 and 1975 she wrote the pioneering children’s series Nippers, containing probably the first reflection of the Black British presence in UK writing for children.

Gilroy’s early work examined the impact of life in Britain on West Indian families and her later work explored issues of African and Caribbean diaspora and slavery.

She received hours including:

1990 by the Greater London Council for services to education 

1995 received an honorary doctorate from the University of North London

2000 Honorary fellowship from the Institute of Education.

For The Nippers Series written throughout the 1960’s-1970’s Beryl Gilroy won over sixteen awards.

In 1996 she was honoured by the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars.

Beryl Gilroy died in April 2001.

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