Black History: Jamaica’s First Maroon War

Sunday 13 February 2022

Blending Black history with genealogy, Paul Crooks speaks to an empowering history of African Caribbean resistance to the system of slavery.

In this Black history masterclass, speaker Paul Crooks reminds us of the part played by Jamaica’s Akan Maroons in bringing slavery in British colonies to its knees. The war marked the genesis of Black resistance to enslavement and present-day discourse on 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.

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
  • how the Maroon war set in motion the decline of European transatlantic enslavement
  • you’ll draw your own conclusion on a particularly turbulent time in the British Colonies in the Caribbean.

Who is this talk for?

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

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.


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