In the pantheon of classroom dramas, few remain as memorable as To Sir, With Love and few teachers as inspirational as Sidney Poitier’s Mark Thackeray, the stalwart head of an unruly class of misfits.
The film was a sleeper hit of 1967 despite a tepid reception from critics, who brushed it off as “well-meaning tripe.”
To Sir, with Love turned 50 this week; a significant milestone made more poignant with the death of E.R. Braithwaite on Dec.12 last year at 104.
Braithwaite was an author, an educator and a diplomat. He was also the “sir” in To Sir, With Love. His book of the same name — a semi-autobiographical novel published a decade before the film’s release — chronicles his experiences as a young Black teacher in a classroom of predominantly white students at a London East End high school.
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