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.
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.
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)