'Pick up The World is in Our Words and be enthused by energy unbounded, going in several directions at once. [Chris Searle's] life is a challenge to all those repressive mind manacles imposed by the Conservatives in the 1980s, which have accrued ever since.' Sheila Rowbotham, from the introduction
The World is in Our Words follows Searle's teaching, writing and anti-racist mobilising experiences in East London, Sheffield, Canada and Manchester, in particular his five years as a headteacher at Earl Marshal Comprehensive School, Sheffield, where he and the school governors established England's first non-permanent exclusion policy.
The book is about the search to create a truly internationalist school curriculum, using critical literacy, community activism, student self-organisation and academic excellence as its founding principles – an exemplar of Bob Marley's lyric and the watchwords of the school: 'None but ourselves can free our minds'.
About the Author
Chris Searle has taught in Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, East London, Mozambique, Grenada, Sheffield and Manchester. He has also written or edited over fifty books on education, language, literature, cricket, tabloid journalism and jazz. He achieved fame in 1970 when, after publishing the work of his school students, he was sacked, leading to a strike by his pupils. He was eventually reinstated by Margaret Thatcher, then Minister for Education. His early years and the strike years are described in Isaac and I, also from Five Leaves. His book The Forsaken Lover won the Martin Luther King Award and he has worked closely with the Institute of Race Relations, writing for its international journal Race and Class since 1980. He has written a jazz column for the Morning Star for 25 years.