The Forsaken Lover White words and black people
First published in 1972, The Forsaken Lover draws upon Chris Searle’s experience as an English teacher in a secondary school in Tobago to focus upon the deep problems of identity encountered by black people having to use the white man’s language. He shows how the white man’s language is primarily interested in vindicating the white man’s pride and culture, and denying the black man his true autonomy. Black children are still being educated within a cultural context which denies them their own identity – in order to succeed they must become as white as possible. In the Forsaken Lover (the title comes from a poem written by a West Indian girl). Chris Seale presents a lively and direct account of his experience. The book is full of the children’s own writing – poetry, prose, drama – and, by referring to their words, Searle urges the need for change in policies and attitudes of language and education. The immediate context is Caribbean, but the issues are common to all societies where differences of colour, class and environment exist. The book will be of interest to students of race and ethnic relations, education, linguistics and public policy.
Acknowledgement Introduction 1. Monostatus 2. The island theme 3. Language and identity 4. English against identity 5. English for identity? 6. Drama and identity 7. After awareness References