St Paul’s Catholic School Latest News

Students Meet American Author, Activist and Educator

Ernest Crim III

Students and staff of A-level Politics had the pleasure to meet with American author, activist, and educator Ernest Crim virtually in February for an hour and half.  Mr Crim spoke to the students about his book, ‘How Black History Saved my Life’ and his experiences in the USA with racism.  It was a very positive message that asked the students to identify and consider who they are and who they want to become.  Mr Crim spoke of a hate crime he experienced and how his reaction to it was grounded in his study of Black history.  It was the pride he had in himself and his history that prevented him from reacting and instead deciding to record the incident and then pursue it through the court system.  He prevailed in his case and spoke to the students about how that split second decision to dig deep inside himself and take the high road really changed his life. It led him down the path to activism and then to author a book.  Mr Crim took the ultimate negative and turned it into a positive. 

The students were absolutely enthralled with this experience and said that they found this event ‘refreshing’ and ‘amazing’ and it also led to them examining how their interactions with others can have a lasting effect on their lives.  Students said that they appreciated the time that Mr Crim gave them for questions and that he was passionate and inspiring! They invited him back to speak again to them later in the year in exchange for sending him some English Breakfast Tea.  Mr. Crim said of the students: ‘’With the depth of questions and interaction, I felt like I was talking to a group of university students.  Ms Markatos undoubtedly did an amazing job preparing them for our discussion.  This presentation revealed to me, more than anything, the commonalities we have across the pond, and also the connection and experience all Africans share across the diaspora.  I look forward to speaking to them again!’’

Ms Markatos and Mr Crim are trying to find a date in the summer term for a second talk.  We are very grateful to Mr Crim for taking the time to inspire, engage, and speak with our students!  Additionally, pupils in Years 9 – 13 will have the opportunity to view the recording of this presentation on itslearning shortly. We will advise pupils when it is ready for them to watch.


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