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Spring Potpourri II

March 7–The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
More than thirteen million people were carried across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to the Americas in slave ships from 1500–1866. Those who survived created the African diaspora, including significant portions of South American, Caribbean and U.S. populations. Why were so many people taken from Africa, and why did this trade continue for nearly 400 years? How did societies in Africa cope with the violence? Who were the victims? Who is to blame?
Presenter: Rebecca Shumway

March 14–History in the Beholder’s Eye
Sometimes finding a common ground means basic understanding and how it differs from others. We often hear that, “History is written by the winners.” So, it is for the U.S. memory of the Mexican-American War and knowledge of the causes and battles. Ask any Mexican educated in Mexico, and they know about the “United States Intervention” which seems like a very different event. Understand the discrepancy and learn how different histories lead to different accounts.
Presenter: Leslie Spencer-Herrera

March 21–Mental Illness and Criminal Justice System
Courts are overburdened with defendants charged with crimes stemming from mental illness. Some counties have created mental-health courts, most of which remain in their infancy. As society gains understanding of mental illness, counties need to adapt to keep the mentally ill out of confinement and in treatment. Use of the “insanity defense” needs to be considered by defense attorneys so litigants can help their clients while forcing elected officials to put resources toward these issues.
Presenter: Anthony Cotton

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