Arthur Lewis (born 23 January 1915) became Britain’s first black professor at the age of 33, at Manchester University. He won a government scholarship from his native St Lucia in 1932 and arrived at the London School of Economics in 1933 to study on the business commerce degree, which included modules in economics, statistics, accounting and law.
Although in his earlier life he considered engineering, he became aware that due to the colour of his skin, he was unlikely to be offered a job. In many respects, the racism in academia was just as stark, as he acknowledged by saying that he was ‘subjected to all the usual disabilities — refusal of accommodation, denial of jobs for which he had been recommended, generalised discourtesy and the rest’.
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