Black Genealogy and History Talks

All the talks currently offered are listed here.

Black Genealogy and History Talks

All the talks currently offered are listed here.

There are lessons to be learned – both good and bad - from the way our ancestors have interacted to survive racial injustice. Those historical stories can serve to inspire individuals to higher levels of achievement.

Inspirational stories from the pages of Black history fire peoples' imaginations and spur them on to higher levels of performance in their personal and work lives.

You can find the upcoming online events here. Upcoming live events here.

You can find the upcoming online events here. Upcoming live events here.

Black Genealogy

Black Genealogy

A Black History 1

Tracing African Caribbean Ancestry: Who Do You Think You Are?

Join Black history speaker Paul online for this captivating account of how he traced his African ancestor - Ami Djaba. Paul’s family tree reaches back 6 generations, a journey that took him back 200 years to the Gold Coast of West Africa, via Jamaica. In this masterclass, Paul delivers a revealing talk on his journey tracing his roots. Paul also discussed how he used his research to reconstruct the historical narrative of Black people enslaved in ex-British colonies in the Caribbean and North America. You’ll gain an insight into • how you can discover who you are and where you’re from • how Paul’s ancestors enslaved in the Caribbean were a collective part an unstoppable force for change on a grand scale. Come and ask questions about how to start exploring family history. Who knows? Maybe you'll be inspired to explore your Ancestry. Who Is This Talk For? The talk is suitable for you if • you’re new to exploring family history • you have some experience of searching for your ancestors and want to know about other sources of information • you’ve started and you’re having problems furthering your search
A Black History 2

Black Ancestry: Paul Crooks' Top 10 Tips For Tracing Your Roots

Paul is among the most insightful Black history speakers and genealogists discussing some of the most engaging topics relating to the Black experience online. Through the lens of his pioneering research into Black ancestry Paul will • share his 10 hot tips for tracing Black ancestry • demonstrate how you can trace forebears using public records • highlight potential pitfalls that may get in the way of your search and how to overcome them Come and ask questions about how to start exploring family history. Who knows? Maybe you'll be inspired to explore your ancestry and reconstruct your black family history narrative.
A Black History 3

Beyond Windrush: Tracing Your Ancesty with the Passenger Lists

Black History Speaker Paul Crooks delivers this online event revealing the secrets of tracing your Windrush forebears using public records Paul Crooks is among the best Black history speakers and genealogists discussing some of the most engaging topics relating to the Black experience online. Through the lens of his pioneering research into Black ancestry, Paul will discuss how • he used The Passenger Lists to search for his family tree and back story • the passenger list complements other sources of ancestry information. • you can use the Windrush Generation Passenger Lists to explore your African and Caribbean history, fill a gap in your family tree and bring your family’s Windrush backstory to life. Who is this talk for? The talk is suitable for you if • you want to develop your knowledge and understanding of the relationship between Black British history and Caribbean history • you’re new to exploring family history
A Black History 6

How I Traced My Ancestry

Back to the 1880s Online

Black History Speaker Paul Crooks provides this online event inspiring people hoping to bring their back stories to life. Paul Crooks is among the most insightful Black history speakers and genealogists discussing some of the most engaging topics relating to the Black experience online. Stories of ancestors who resisted racial injustice can serve to inspire individuals to higher levels of achievement. People are inspired and motivated by learning about the inspirational people and or events that make up where we are today. Inspirational stories from the pages of Black history/ancestry fire the imagination of people and spur them on to higher levels of performance in their personal and work life. Through the lens of his pioneering research into Black ancestry, Paul will: • guidance on how to search online and trace your history further back, to ancestors who lived during 1860s. • provide insights into how he overcame major barriers to tracing his great-grandfather online. • cover records specific to Black ancestry. • discuss other materials of more general interest to people embarking on journeys to find their roots. Who is this talk for? The talk is suitable for you if • you’re new to exploring family history • you have some experience of searching for your ancestors and want to know about other sources of information • you’ve started and you’re having problems furthering your search About the speaker Trailblazing family historian Paul Crooks pioneered research into Black genealogy during the 1990s. He traced his family history from London, back 6 generations, to ancestors captured on the West African coast and enslaved on a sugar plantation in Jamaica. Paul was told that it would be impossible to trace records of slave-ownership let alone his African ancestors enslaved on plantations in Jamaica. “No one had tried because such records did not exist.” Undeterred, he embarked on a journey of discovery that led from suburban North London to Jamaica and ultimately back to the Gold Coast of Africa. His books, Ancestors and a Tree Without Roots - The Guide To Tracing British, African And Asian Caribbean Ancestry brought him international recognition for his breakthrough research into Black genealogy. Paul is credited with inspiring an upsurge in interest in Black and British ancestry. He is also recognised for having spawned an industry in Black genealogy.
A Black History 4b

How I Traced My Ancestry

Back to the 1860s Online

Black History Speaker Paul Crooks provides this online event inspiring people hoping to bring their back stories to life. Paul Crooks is among the most insightful Black history speakers and genealogists discussing some of the most engaging topics relating to the Black experience online. Stories of ancestors who resisted racial injustice can serve to inspire individuals to higher levels of achievement. People are inspired and motivated by learning about the inspirational people and or events that make up where we are today. Inspirational stories from the pages of Black history/ancestry fire the imagination of people and spur them on to higher levels of performance in their personal and work life. Through the lens of his pioneering research into Black ancestry, Paul will: • guidance on how to search online and trace your history further back, to ancestors who lived during 1860s. • provide insights into how he overcame major barriers to tracing his great-grandfather online. • cover records specific to Black ancestry. • discuss other materials of more general interest to people embarking on journeys to find their roots. Who is this talk for? The talk is suitable for you if • you’re new to exploring family history • you have some experience of searching for your ancestors and want to know about other sources of information • you’ve started and you’re having problems furthering your search About the speaker Trailblazing family historian Paul Crooks pioneered research into Black genealogy during the 1990s. He traced his family history from London, back 6 generations, to ancestors captured on the West African coast and enslaved on a sugar plantation in Jamaica. Paul was told that it would be impossible to trace records of slave-ownership let alone his African ancestors enslaved on plantations in Jamaica. “No one had tried because such records did not exist.” Undeterred, he embarked on a journey of discovery that led from suburban North London to Jamaica and ultimately back to the Gold Coast of Africa. His books, Ancestors and a Tree Without Roots - The Guide To Tracing British, African And Asian Caribbean Ancestry brought him international recognition for his breakthrough research into Black genealogy. Paul is credited with inspiring an upsurge in interest in Black and British ancestry. He is also recognised for having spawned an industry in Black genealogy.
Paul Crooks Tracing African Ancestry

How I Traced My Ancestry

Back to the 1830s Online

Trace Your Black & British Ancestors Back to the 1830s A Black History masterclass in tracing Black ancestors all the way back to 1830s Paul Crooks is among the most insightful Black history speakers and genealogists discussing some of the most engaging topics relating to the Black experience online. Stories of ancestors who resisted racial injustice can serve to inspire individuals to higher levels of achievement. People are inspired and motivated by learning about the inspirational people and or events that make up where we are today. Inspirational stories from the pages of Black history/ancestry fire the imagination of people and spur them on to higher levels of performance in their personal and work life. You’ll gain insights into Paul’s approach to overcoming major barriers to tracing records of his ancestors enslaved in the Caribbean. This talk will cover records specific to Black research, as well as other materials of more general interest to people with African & Caribbean forbears.
Eventbrite Deptford

Secrest of the 1817 Slave Registers Uncovered

Online event blending Black History with Black ancestry. Paul Crooks reveals how he used the 1817 Slave Register to bring his back story to life. Black History Speaker and pioneering genealogist Paul Crooks captivates his audience with an account of how he used traced the 1817 Slave Register, to trace his African forebears enslaved on a sugar plantation in Jamaica, 200 years ago. Paul was told that it would be impossible to trace records of slave-ownership let alone his African ancestors enslaved on plantations in Jamaica. “No one had tried because such records did not exist.” In the 1990’s, undeterred, he embarked on a journey of discovery that led from suburban North London to Jamaica and ultimately back to the Gold Coast of Africa; an effort that has brought him international recognition for his breakthroughs in Black genealogy research. By 1999, Paul had realised the Slave Registers' potential for researching Caribbean Ancestry and African Roots. Paul’s revelations preceded a flurry of enquiries into the slave registers and slave compensation records. He will talk about his journey and how he traced his roots. The 1817 Slave Registers Paul will: • discuss how the slave registers can support the exploration of Black Ancestry, Black history and self-identity • reveal what the registers reveal about the roots of British racism • the origins of the slave registers and how and how he discovered them • talk about his journey and how he traced his roots • create space for questions and answers Come and ask questions about how to start exploring family history. Who knows? Maybe you'll be inspired to explore your Ancestry.
A Black History 8

The 1834 Slave Compensation Records

Online event blending Black History with Black ancestry. Paul Crooks reveals how he used the 1834 Slave Compensation Records to trace his enslaved ancestors In this Black history masterclass, Speaker Paul Crooks emboldens calls for reparations speaking about his search for his Black ancestors. In 1833, The British government passed legislation to end its system of enslavement. Britain raised the equivalent of £20 billion to compensate Britain's slave owners for the 'loss of human property.' It was the largest state-sponsored payout in British history before the banking crisis in 2008. Taxpayers' money went straight into the pockets of people who had already profited from its system of slavery. Paul will discuss his personal journey to: • trace his African ancestors enslaved in Jamaica • find evidence of compensation linked to the enslavement of his ancestors on the Cousins Cove Sugar Plantation, Jamaica • encourage, motivate and inspire others to explore their ancestry and bring back stories to life. You will gain insights into how public records can help you explore your ancestry.
A Black Genealogy DNA Testing 21

What does DNA Testing tell me about my Origins

An insightful Black Genealogy masterclass exploring DNA testing. For you, if you’re one of many asking “Where am I from?”

 

An insightful Black Genealogy masterclass exploring DNA testing determining your African roots. 

DNA testing is estimated to be a £7.7bn industry. 12 million people from all over the world have taken a home DNA-test. We hope DNA tests can tell us where we are from.

But does anyone stop to ask

  • are 23andMe and AncestryDNA actually testing your ancestry?
  • how much information is passed down through a person’s DNA? 
  • is the industry really just telling us what they think we want to hear?

Paul Crooks discusses 

  • his research into his own African Caribbean ancestry and what it reveals about the origins of African Caribbean and African American people. 
  • the extent DNA testing helps in determine roots/race/ethnicity


Empowering Black History Talks

Empowering Black History Talks

A Black History 9c

Empowering Black History: The Spanish Maroons of Jamaica

Black History Speaker Paul Crooks delivers this online event reminding us of this pioneering freedom movement and genesis of the struggle for racial equality. In this Black history masterclass, Speaker Paul Crooks captivates audiences with his accounts of Jamaica’s rich history of struggle for racial justice. This talk speaks to the genesis of anti-racism and racial equality. Paul’s season of online events celebrates the pivotal role Jamaica’s Spanish Maroons played in Black and British history. He reminds how Jamaica’s Maroons wars were a prelude to modern day discourse on anti-racism, inclusion and racial justice. Paul will encourage you to draw your own conclusion on a particularly turbulent time in the history of the British colonies in the Caribbean.
A Black History 10

Empowering Black History: Jamaica's Akan Maroon War

Black History Speaker Paul Crooks delivers this online event reminding us of this pioneering freedom movement and genesis of the struggle for racial equality. In this Black history masterclass, Speaker Paul Crooks reminds us of the role Jamaica’s First Akan Maroon war in the genesis of the struggle against racial injustice and equality. When researching his family’s Black history, Paul Crooks discovered his great great great grandfather walked free from a sugar plantation in Jamaica in 1838. Paul wanted to know what lay behind the decision to free the enslaved people of the Caribbean. Did the Maroon war set in motion the decline of European transatlantic enslavement? In this talk, Paul will discuss • the Akan Maroons of Jamaica who set the scene for liberation struggles to come • resistance to the system of enslavement in the Caribbean and North America, as an epic military struggle. • evidence that the maroon war led ultimately to the demise of slavery in the British Colonies. You’ll draw your own conclusion on a particularly turbulent time in the British Colonies in the Caribbean.
African Diaspora Man

Empowering Black History: When Tacky Declared War on Slavery

In this Black history masterclass, Speaker Paul Crooks discusses a freedom movement that took action to overturn the unjust system of enslavement. When researching his family’s Black history, Paul Crooks discovered his great great great grandfather walked free from a sugar plantation in Jamaica in 1838. Paul wanted to know more about what lay behind the decision to free the enslaved people of the Caribbean. Jamaica’s civil uprising of 1765 is one of the great stories of Black people pushing against the unjust system of slavery. It is an unfamiliar history of how a hero called Tacky, responded to the system of slavery and denial of human rights. There were many great Black leaders of freedom movements in the modern era; but is Tacky the greatest unsung hero of them all? You are invited to draw your own conclusion. This talk is designed primarily to help improve the self-respect of black people and give them a brighter, more optimistic outlook. It’s also designed to help other people view black people with more appreciative eyes.
A Black History 13

Toussaint the Great & The Haitian Revolution

In this online Black history masterclass, Paul Crooks focuses on the fabled leadership of Toussaint L ’Overture, a great military commander of the modern era. When researching his families Black History, Paul Crooks discovered his great great great grandfather walked free from a sugar plantation in Jamaica in 1838. Paul wanted to know more about what lay behind the decision to free the enslaved people of the Caribbean. The Haitian revolution led by Toussaint L’Overture inspired events in Black & British that ultimately led the British government legislating to end the system of enslavement in colonies in the Caribbean. Cultures at macro or micro levels are often defined by the behaviours that leaders display. In this Black history masterclass, Paul Crooks focuses on Toussaint L’Overture’s • leadership capabilities • strategic decision-making capabilities when confronted with tantalising situations • brinkmanship
A Black History 9a

Empowering Black History: Jamaica’s Second Maroon War

The forgotten Black History of Jamaican Maroons in conflict with British colonials during the period of enslavement When researching his family’s Black history, Paul Crooks discovered his great great great grandfather walked free from a sugar plantation in Jamaica in 1838. Paul wanted to know more about what lay behind the decision to free the enslaved people of the Caribbean. This talk is part of a series of online talks on Jamaicans rich history of resistance and black empowerment. The Second Maroon War of 1795–1796 was a conflict between Jamaican Maroons and the British colonisers. Paul critically discusses key historical figures in this Black and British history, challenging audiences to draw their own conclusion on a particularly turbulent time in the history of resistance to enslavement within the Caribbean. This talk is designed primarily to help improve the self-respect of black people giving them a brighter, more optimistic outlook. It’s also designed to help other people view Black people with more appreciative eyes.
A Black History 17a

The Jamaican Slaves Who Abolished Slavery

Black History Speaker Paul Crooks implicates his enslaved ancestors in one of the Caribbean & North America’s greatest push against the system of slavery When researching his family’s Black history, Paul Crooks discovered his great great great grandfather walked free from a sugar plantation in Jamaica in 1838. Paul wanted to know what lay behind the decision to free the enslaved people of the Caribbean. Paul will discuss events leading up to Jamaica’s Baptist War, which ultimately brought the British system of slavery to its knees. He will speak about • The impact of the abolitionists in bringing about the ultimate demise of transatlantic slavery • Why the enslaved people of Jamaica decided to take matters into their own hands • The British government's reaction to events in Jamaica In the decades leading to abolition This talk is designed to • improve the self-respect of black people young and old and give them a brighter, more optimistic outlook. • help other people view Black people with more appreciative eyes. • complements another of Paul’s online events Sam Sharpe and the Baptist War.
A Black History 16

Empowering Black History: Sam Sharpe & The Baptist War

The Black History of The Baptist Who Broke Slavery Black History drawing accounts of witnesses to slave labour strike in Jamaica that reset The British Government timetable for the abolition of slavery. When researching his family’s Black history, Paul Crooks discovered his great great great grandfather walked free from a sugar plantation in Jamaica in 1838. Paul wanted to know what lay behind the decision to free the enslaved people of the Caribbean. The atmosphere in Jamaica was electric when the legalised form of the slave trade was abolished. The enslaved people of the Caribbean thought this meant the end of the system of slavery – but it didn’t; far from it. So exactly how did the system of slavery reach its eventual demise? Were enslaved people passive recipients of their emancipation, or did they play a role in dismantling the system? Paul Crooks is changing the discourse on ancestors enslaved in the Caribbean and North America and exploring black ancestry. Paul will demonstrate • how Sam Sharpe’s Baptist war brought the system of enslavement to its knees in Jamaica; and • the impact the Baptist War had on the British government procrastinating on passing legislation to end enslavement in the colonies in the Caribbean • shed light on an aspect of Black History that is largely ignored.
A Black History 19 (2)

Empowering Black History: The Perfect Storm that Ended Slavery

Join Black History Speaker Paul Crooks for a masterclass on the rise and fall of enslavement in the British Colonies in the Caribbean and North America. British born Paul Crooks spent 13 years searching for his African roots. He found out that his great great great grandfather walked free from the Cousins Cove sugar plantation, Jamaica in 1838. This prompted Paul’s curiosity about what lay behind the decision to free the enslaved people of the Caribbean. In this talk, Paul will explain • how the decision to offer liberty to people enslaved in the Caribbean and North America began when military struggles between Africans in the Caribbean and colonisers; and • how this unleashed forces that set in motion the demise of slavery in the Caribbean and North America. Recognising every age rewrites history, particularly black history, Paul will place into historical perspective the factors that contributed to end of the transatlantic slavery. Paul challenges established perspectives on how the abolition was achieved; ideas created in the consciousness of many, by Great Britain are responsible for the creation and guidance of informed opinion.
Paul Crooks Ancestry

Colorism Origins: Secrets of the 1817 Slave Registers

Join Black History Speaker Paul Crooks for a masterclass on why the abolition of slavery more than the result of a rising standard of political ethics in Britain. When researching his family’s black history, Paul Crooks discovered his great great great grandfather walked free from a sugar plantation in Jamaica in 1838. Paul wanted to know more about what lay behind the decision to free the enslaved people of the Caribbean. Paul found that the abolition of slavery was not merely the result of a rising standard of political ethics in Britain. It was a form of cutting off losses. Money had everything to do with the decision to offer liberty to people enslaved in the Caribbean and North America. If Paul will outline how the everyday activities of Africans enslaved in the Caribbean • weakened the British Colonies in the Caribbean economically; and • led to Britain champion the end of transatlantic enslavement in the Americas. This talk is designed to help improve the self-respect of black people young and old and give them a brighter, more optimistic outlook. It’s also designed to help other people view Black people with more appreciative eyes.
A Black History 19b

The Economic Reasons for Abolishing Slavery

Join Black History Speaker Paul Crooks for a masterclass on why the abolition of slavery more than the result of a rising standard of political ethics in Britain. When researching his family’s black history, Paul Crooks discovered his great great great grandfather walked free from a sugar plantation in Jamaica in 1838. Paul wanted to know more about what lay behind the decision to free the enslaved people of the Caribbean. Paul found that the abolition of slavery was not merely the result of a rising standard of political ethics in Britain. It was a form of cutting off losses. Money had everything to do with the decision to offer liberty to people enslaved in the Caribbean and North America. If Paul will outline how the everyday activities of Africans enslaved in the Caribbean • weakened the British Colonies in the Caribbean economically; and • led to Britain champion the end of transatlantic enslavement in the Americas. This talk is designed to help improve the self-respect of black people young and old and give them a brighter, more optimistic outlook. It’s also designed to help other people view Black people with more appreciative eyes.
A Black History 21

From Africa to Diaspora: Black History for Beginners

A Black history masterclass discussing Black resistance and the rise and fall of enslavement in the British Colonies in the Caribbean and North America. History inspires an understanding of difference. There are lessons to be learned from the interaction our ancestors have had with other people. In a modern world understanding of how past societies have integrated is key to people improving the world we live in. Inspirational stories from the pages of Black history fire peoples' imaginations and can spur them on to higher levels of performance in their personal and work lives. Join Paul Crooks on a journey through the most interesting periods Black history from Ancient Africa to Black Britain via the Caribbean. In this talk, Paul Crooks will: • Highlight key topics and events along the Black History timeline • Emphasise events where ‘Africans at home and abroad’ have taken action – on a grand scale – to shape their future and the future of others • Inspire, encourage and uplift you with African & Caribbean ancestry Programme • Africa: Before the rise of Capitalism (10 -15 mins) • Africans in the Caribbean: From Enslavement to Emancipation (15-20 mins) • Black & British: The Windrush Generation (10 mins)