Author and historian Mr Paul Crooks joined Y8 boys on Thursday 16 March to deliver a series of talks on slavery but with a personal difference. Paul told the tales of the slave trade to the boys by sharing his ancestors’ stories, which he had traced over a period of 13 years of extensive research.

During their discussion of the millions of lives affected, including Paul’s own family’s, over more than three centuries and the brutality of slavery, the boys asked some wonderfully insightful and intelligent questions; clearly showing their understanding and the sensitivities of the subject.

Paul also challenged them to form their own opinions on what brought about the abolition of slavery. Was it the men of conscience, the slaves themselves through their resistance, or a mixture of both? He encouraged the boys not to assume that everything they read is true – history is often told from just one side, usually those in the position of power. They should also listen to the voices of those who have been oppressed when forming their opinions.

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