Thetford woman’s inspirational story published

An inspirational woman, who fought against decades of poverty, racism and violence to forge a successful teaching career, has released her life story.

Coralita Martin, 77, who lives in Thetford, was in The Book Fountain in Wymondham on Saturday signing copies of her new book, called Courage to Dream – The Impossible Becomes Reality, which went on sale last week.

The autobiography details her rise from the slums of Antigua to becoming a successful teacher in London and Norfolk. She was the first black teacher in Thetford and Watton – working at Queensway Middle School and Watton Primary School in the 1970s.

But her career progression did not come easy as she struggled against terrifying domestic abuse and periods of homelessness while trying to raise a young family.

Despite the frank account of her troubles, Coralita said she was not nervous about sharing her past with the public and was 'elated' to see the book published.

'I was so hurt inside and just wanted to express it,' she said.

'I feel like it's going to help other people. It will help the battered wives, the battered children, the homeless and for those who are down-hearted it will cheer them up.'

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The book was co-written by former reporter Sandie Shirley, from Tacolneston, near Long Stratton.

She said: 'I think it's been a healing process for Coralita to talk about her experiences and I felt it should be written. It's a beacon of hope and no matter how tough life gets people can dip into that book and find hope and the courage to dream because everyone should have a dream.'

Coralita will also be signing copies of her book at the Church on the Way, in Thetford, on Friday from 6pm to 8pm, and at J C Books, in Watton, on Saturday from 11am to midday.