Black History | The Slaves Who Battled Britain

Sunday 8th May

Black history speaker Paul Crooks is among the most insightful and genealogists discussing engaging topics relating to the legacy of British slave-ownership and Black British ancestry. Paul also discusses how he used his research to reconstruct the historical narrative of Black people enslaved in ex-British colonies in the Caribbean and North America.


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 enslavement. It is an unfamiliar history of how a hero called Tacky, responded to the system of enslavement and associated 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.

Paul will

  • discuss the attempt to overturn Britain’s system of slavery in Jamaica
  • reveal the protagonists and their origins
  • speak to the cause of the British Government’s alarm at events in Jamaica
  • create space for questions and answers

The talk is suitable for you if

  • you want to develop your knowledge and understanding of parallels between African Caribbean history and African American history
  • you’re new to exploring family history

Premium Ticket holders

Premium Ticket holders will receive The First Maroon War Timeline interactive PowerPoint following the event. See demonstration video below

About the speaker

Paul Crooks is a published author and pioneering genealogist with a specialist interest in Black ancestry and Black history.

Paul came to prominence with his pioneering research into Black genealogy During the 1990s, when he became the first to trace his family history back 6 generations, from London to his ancestors enslaved on a sugar plantation in North America 200 years ago. He discovered his ancestors were enslaved on a sugar plantation in Jamaica.

His books Ancestors and A Tree Without Roots – The Guide To Tracing British, African and Asian Caribbean Ancestry have brought him international recognition for his breakthrough research into Black genealogy.

Paul Crooks has appeared on Who Do You Think You Are? with Moira Stuart as the expert in Black genealogy and has been recognised for inspiring an upsurge in interest in Black and British ancestry.

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.

Organiser of Black History | The Slaves Who Battled Britain

Welcome to Black History Speaker Paul Crooks’ masterclasses – a unique programme of onlaine and live events exploring Black Ancestry, whilst extending knowledge of Black History.

Paul Crooks is a Black History Speaker and pioneering Black genealogist. He helps people satisfy a deep need to understand how we fit into the broader world around us. Black History and Ancestry are journeys of many lifetimes woven together from the past, the present and the future.

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.

Paul’s online and live events inspire a deeper understanding of difference. He speaks on important topics relating to the Black experience, including identity, inequality and national history.

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