Tracing African Caribbean history: Who do you think you are?


OCTOBER IS Black History Month and Hertfordshire Libraries are celebrating in many ways.

There is a chance to join Ancestry Talks’ Paul Crooks for this captivating account of how he traced his black Caribbean ancestors enslaved on a sugar plantation in Jamaica 200 years ago and his family’s migration down through the generations to Windrush.

Trailblazing author and family historian Crooks pioneered research into African Caribbean genealogy during the 1990s. At the time he was told that it would be impossible to trace records of slave-ownership let alone his African ancestors enslaved on plantations. “No one had tried because such records did not exist.”


Undeterred, he embarked on a journey of discovery that led from suburban North London to Jamaica and ultimately back to the Gold Coast of Africa; an effort that has brought him international recognition for his breakthroughs in tracing black ancestry.

The talk will last approximately 45 minutes with Q&A afterwards.

Tickets cost £3 and joining instructions will be emailed to you near the date.

Book now

You will need a smartphone, tablet or PC/laptop. It is recommended that you install the Microsoft Teams app on your device. This is free from the App Store or Google Playstore. For PCs or laptops download it from here

You can also access Teams through a browser (without the app) but you need the latest version of Chrome or Edge and this may not work on all devices.

For adult readers – books, audio and our virtual book group


Hertfordshire Libraries have also put together booklists of the bestselling adult fiction and non fiction black history titles available in their libraries. Of course there are many more, so this is just a taster.

On their BorrowBox elibrary they have created a shelf of fiction and non fiction ebooks and e-audio books by African Caribbean authors for you to enjoy. You can visit here

The virtual reading group, Readers Connected, will be reading/listening to The Color Purple by Alice Walker. E-audio copies are available on BorrowBox or you can borrow the book from your library. The group is run from our Hertfordshire Libraries Facebook page.

For children and young adults – books, audio and storytime!

For younger readers, have a look at the picture book list celebrating cultural diversity here.


For children and teenagers they have a list of just some of the fiction and non fiction titlesavailable here.

There are also brilliant children’s titles on BorrowBox in ebook and e-audio book.

For storytime fun, tune in to Tata Storytime on their YouTube channel or visit their website  Tata Storytime to hear actors read beautiful picture books by authors from African, Caribbean & African American heritage. Enjoy the antics of Femi the fox or Chicken in the kitchen aimed at pre-school to 8 year olds.

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