Key Stage 3 History Speaker

Meeting Unmet Demand for Ancestry Talks in Secondary Schools

Since 2016, 151 schools contacted Ancestry Talks requesting free workshops. The aim is to meet demand from secondary schools in urban areas

About Paul Crooks

I am a trailblazing genealogist and author with a special interest in African-Caribbean ancestry.

I traced my African forebears enslaved on a sugar plantation in Jamaica, 200 years ago. I traced his family back 6 generations to Ami Djaba who was living in the Krobo Mountain, Ghana. My acclaimed novel and appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? inspired a generation to start exploring Black and British ancestry and gathering information to make their family trees. I talk interactively about my journey and how I traced my roots.

Pupil Enrichment

Schools enrich children education by offering activities not prescribed as part of the National Curriculum. But, schools across the UK are also under tremendous pressure to reduce costs. Most schools in urban areas cannot afford to commission quality speakers. Teachers I have worked with tell me that my talks are well delivered to enrich the Key Stage 3 (years 7 to 9) History curriculum.

The Evidence Base

The Emory University study. It found that family stories provide a sense of identity through time, and help people understand who they are in the world. People who know more stories about their extended family show higher levels of emotional well-being. They also show higher levels of identity achievement.

The Unmet Demand

In London alone, 151 schools requested ancestry talks and workshops - but had no budget to cover my costs. Teachers understand when I tell them I am not funded to offer a free service.

Key Aims

That’s why I am trying to raise funds to take my programme into more schools in London. I specifically aim to target the following local authority areas in London and the West Midlands: Hackney, Lewisham, Southwark, Lambeth, Croydon, Brent, Redbridge, Newham, Waltham Forest, Harrow Wandsworth, and Hammersmith, Birmingham, and Sandwell).

I would like to raise £3,000 to tour Ancestry Talks to secondary schools in the above local authority areas 2019/2020.


Each talk costs a minimum of £500 pounds, ie

• time to prepare talks and workshops,

• expenses (travel & subsistence, accommodation (visits outside the M25)

Pledge support and find out more about your family history

Ancestry Talks has given hundreds of people in the UK free access to expert insight into tracing Black Family History.

Presenting genealogy discoveries interwoven with Black history references, audiences are invited to discover how Black family history can be harnessed as powerful tools for exploring self-identity and self-empowerment. Ancestry Talks is an unmissable supplement to the Black History event calendar.

Your pledge will help enhance and extend the our programme beyond London's M25. We want thousands of people to gain access to our unique talks and workshops.

Pledge Now and get your reward!

Greater knowledge of family history is associated with a host of positive outcomes for the people, including higher self-esteem, a stronger belief in their capacity to control the future, lower levels of anxiety, fewer behavioral problems, more resilience in the event of hardship, better academic performance and better relationships with their parents. By Michael Alison Chandler December 10, 2013

I’m passionate supporting families and individuals explore their black family history. That's why I'm aiming to raise funding to tour Ancestry Talks in metropolitan areas of the UK (London, Birmingham, Manchester) and beyond.

Although most Ancestry Talks events are free, it can costs up to £300 to arrange. Ancestry talks does not receive funding from mainstream sources.

  • Preparation,
  • Venue hire,
  • travel subsistence expenses,
  • Equipment.

Ancestry Talks does not receive funding from mainstream sources.