Four Free Presentations and Discussions
Summer Wisdom 2022 is sponsored by Sunnybrook Village, Brunswick Maine – Thank you!
IMPORTANT — READ CAREFULLY!
You must register to join the Zoom Virtual Discussion with the presenter — This will be held on the date next to each presenter’s talk at 1 p.m. If you wish to join, you must register. It is a free event but registration is required. Locate the registration link within the information below. Registration is separate for each discussion and you may register at any time before the event. You will receive a link to the Zoom event on the morning of the event.
June 1: SAMOSET AND INDIGENOUS-EUROPEAN INTERACTIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 17TH CENTURY
On March 16, 1621, Samoset, a sagamore of the Wawenock, cemented his place in history. He was the first Indigenous person to make contact with the colonists at Plymouth Plantation, startling them when he emerged from the forest and welcomed them in English. The extraordinary thing about Samoset’s story is that he was not from Plymouth. Samoset’s home was more than 200 miles away on the coast of present-day Maine. Why was he there? And why was he chosen to make contact with the English settlers? In addition to that first meeting in Plymouth, Samoset’s life coincided with several important events during the period of early contact with Europeans, and his home village of Pemaquid lay at the center of Indigenous-European interactions at the beginning of the 17th century. As a result he and his people were active participants in this history. But it came at great cost, and the way of living that had sustained them for centuries changed dramatically over the course of his lifetime as they endured war, epidemics, and a clash of cultures. What did that relationship look like, and how did it go so wrong? Jody Bachelder is the author of the forthcoming book, Here First: Samoset and the Wawenock of Pemaquid, Maine. She grew up on the Pemaquid Peninsula where Samoset and the Wawenock lived, and like many people of European descent, she knew little about the Indigenous people who called the area home for thousands of years. With a background in library work, she began her research with the question “What was Samoset doing in Plymouth?” The journey to find the answer was both enlightening and surprising. She lives in midcoast Maine with her husband.
Register for a virtual discussion on June 1 at 1 p.m. on Zoom: https://maine.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwtd-yhqjMoHtWorxMC0Yuzh2hWlMW1suVw
June 8: THE DISEASED SHIP: A CAUTIONARY TALE ABOUT NEW ENGLAND’S TWIN PLAGUES
On August 1, 1819, a majestic Maine-built ship docked at Boston’s Long Wharf, completing a nearly year-long voyage to West Africa and the West Indies that only a few crew members were fortunate enough to survive. This dramatic story features a prominent Yankee sea captain, a tragedy on the high seas, a viral outbreak, a major political cover-up, and a conspiracy of silence that has lasted two centuries surrounding New England’s involvement in the slave trade. Following these historical threads into the present day allows us to consider the ways in which our region’s repressed history of complicity with the business of slavery relates to our current national conversations about race, privilege, identity, and access to the American dream. Meadow Dibble is Director of Community-Engaged Research at the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Tribal Populations in Maine and a Visiting Scholar at Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. She received her Ph.D. from Brown’s Department of French and taught Francophone African literature at Colby College from 2005–2008. Originally from Cape Cod, Meadow lived for six years on Senegal’s Cape Verde peninsula prior to pursuing her graduate studies, where she published a cultural magazine and coordinated foreign study programs. In 2016, she experienced a brutal awakening to the reality of her hometown’s deep investment in the global slave economy. In the years since, Meadow has been assiduously researching complicity among Cape Cod’s sea captains while developing The Atlantic Black Box Project.
Register for a virtual discussion on June 8 at 1 p.m. on Zoom: https://maine.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEsdO2opjwtGdFshODrngnFp4BB_FJfUs7G
June 15: THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD IN MAINE
The State of Maine’s connection to the Underground Railroad, which helped slaves escape to Canada prior to the Civil War, ran deep. Important centers and transit points existed in Portland, Brunswick, and Topsham. We will hear how this remarkable “railroad” facilitated many slaves’ hazardous journey, and how Mainers from Kittery in the south to Fort Fairfield in the north risked heavy fines and jail time to violate the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Of particular interest is the Brunswick-Topsham network of “safe houses” which hid and protected the runaways as they made their perilous trips to freedom. Mark Alan Leslie, a Monmouth native and current resident, is a former editor of the Lewiston Sun and the founder, editor, and writer of a golf magazine. He is the author of fourteen books including True North: Tice’s Story, a fictional (but based on fact) tale about the Underground Railroad in Maine and how it abetted one Kentucky slave’s harrowing experiences. True North earned Publishers Weekly Featured Book status; in addition, Mark has won six national magazine writing awards. His latest historical novel, A Cause Most Splendid: The Battle for the Bible, has been named Best Novel of the Year by the American Family Association. Mark has also written about the Ku Klux Klan, King David’s music of the Psalms, Jewish emigration to Israel, and other fascinating topics. In 2022 he will make presentations in Monmouth, Manchester, Augusta and Embden. Mark holds a degree in journalism from the University of Maine-Orono.
Register for a virtual discussion on June 15 at 1 p.m. on Zoom: https://maine.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEucOquqj8qGNPcsDyE7-2V3KJ-tXs8239l
June 22: WELCOMING NEW MAINERS: EXPLORING RECENT COMMUNITIES OF ASYLUM-SEEKING PEOPLE IN MAINE AND ONE TOWN’S RESPONSE
In 2019 the influx of asylum-seeking people from The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola so overwhelmed the City of Portland that they set up a shelter at the Expo, providing cots, meals, bathrooms, interpretation, and cultural support to hundreds of families. City agencies collaborated with nonprofit groups, raising over $1 million to support resettlement efforts. In July of that year, about 25 families were moved directly from the Expo to the Bath/Brunswick area, changing the landscape of the schools, social services, and the towns themselves. This presentation will touch upon the reasons behind this recent demographic change, the arduous journey many of these families took to get here, and how the community of “old” Mainers has come together to support their new neighbors, forging mutually enriching relationships in the process. Originally from Auburn, Maine, Erin Mangalam’s studies took her to North Carolina, New York, Providence, Paris, Boston, and Los Angeles before she and her husband, Kiran, returned to raise their three children in Brunswick. After completing her MSW at Boston College, she stayed home with their children, using her skills to parent and volunteer in the community. In 2016 she was part of the founding board of the local nonprofit The Emergency Action Network (TEAN), a grassroots organization dedicated to harnessing the generosity of the community to serve Brunswick’s most vulnerable members. Through her work with TEAN, Erin was privileged to meet the new community of asylum-seeking people who moved to Brunswick in July 2019, and she has been engaged with that community ever since. In addition to her work with TEAN, Erin also works at Katahdin Property Management as a property and project manager.
A pre-recorded video will be posted on the morning of June 22 on our website at midcoastseniorcollege.org. At 1 p.m. we will host the Zoom Q&A.
Register for a virtual discussion on June 22 at 1 p.m. on Zoom: https://maine.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMudOuurjgvGdVaTmi3ayLLwIeJ3auK_URj