Empowering Black History: Sam Sharpe & The Slaves who Abolished Slavery

Sunday 24 October 2021

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.

Who is this talk for?

The talk is suitable for you if

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

Come and ask questions about how to start exploring family history. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be inspired to explore your Ancestry.

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