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My Life cover


Jamaica, Immigrant experience, Ontario school system, Black students, Single parenthood, Overcoming adversity, Classism

My Life
Overcoming Classism through Faith and Perseverance
by Howard Anglin Palmer

For a boy growing up in Jamaica in the 1940s, going to school was not a given. Colonialism, colourism, and classism created educational barriers for anyone who wasn’t rich or white. But from these early struggles, Howard Palmer devoted his career to education, even earning a PhD.

This memoir covers the challenges and joys of Dr. Palmer’s life, from his family and Jamaican upbringing, his immigration to Canada in the 1960s, his lifelong educational pursuits and raising his daughters after the tragic death of his wife. He also shares his insightful research into how Ontario’s educational system was failing Black boys—findings that are sadly still relevant today.

By sharing his story, Dr. Palmer hopes to encourage readers to examine their own personal journeys and gain a deeper understanding of persisting against the odds. My Life is a thorough, honest, and inspirational story of a Jamaican Canadian man overcoming obstacles through faith and determination.

Howard Anglin Palmer photo

Dr. Howard Palmer grew up in Jamaica and immigrated to Canada in 1967. A product of the colonial educational system, he spent his career teaching, including more than thirty years working in Ontario schools. His research on factors affecting the underachievement of African-Caribbean boys in Ontario schools earned him a doctorate in sociology of education. He lives with one of his two daughters in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.


Howard Anglin Palmer

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