400 Years After: The Continuing Impact of Slavery

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 4:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: 1801 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115 (Moot Court Room)

This continuing legal education (CLE) program seeks to educate attorneys about the role that law played in installing, implementing, and ending the enslavement of black Africans.  It will also examine the ethics of the attorneys who owned slaves and those who enforced the laws that helped to maintain the institution of slavery.  The speakers will examine slavery’s impact on laws in place to prevent medical research on human subjects; the constitutional provisions that may be used to justify reparations; the laws that re-enforced the institution of slavery; and the labor laws that have led to a professional sports regime that mimics slavery. In addition to the presentations, the members of the audience will have the opportunity to listen to parts of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, marking the 400-year anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the colony of Virginia.

Topics and Speakers:

Making the Legal Case for Reparations After 400 Years of Silence

Ayesha Bell Hardaway

Analyzing the Laws That Permitted Slavery After 400 Years of Struggle

 Browne C. Lewis

Examining the Legacy of Slavery Through the Lenses of Sports After 400 Years of Skirmishes

Delante Thomas

Discussing the Unethical Use of Enslaved Black People As Research Subjects After 400 Years of Sorrow

Deleso Alford


Ayesha Bell Hardaway is an Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in the Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic. As a member of the faculty, Hardaway has taught as a clinician in the areas of health law, civil litigation and criminal justice. Her research and scholarship interests include the intersection of race and the law, constitutional law, criminal law, health law and civil litigation. Her upcoming article on reparations will be published by the New York University Review of Law & Social Change later this month. Professor Hardaway received her B.A. from The College of Wooster and her J.D. from Case Western Reserve School of Law. 

Deleso Alford is a professor at Southern University School of Law. Professor Alford earned a B.S., magna cum laude at Southern University A&M College, a J.D. at Southern University Law Center, and an LL.M. at Georgetown University Law Center. She has a Certification in Clinical Bioethics from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Her forthcoming book, Tuskegee's Forgotten Women: The Untold Side of the U.S. Public Health Services Syphilis Study, sheds light on how women were directly involved in and/or impacted by the U.S. Public Health Services Syphilis Study. This book offers an acknowledgment of the importance of women's voices, and especially black women's voices, in history.

Browne C. Lewis is the Leon M. and Gloria Plevin Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University.  Professor Lewis received her B.A., summa cum laude from Grambling State University; her M.P.P. in Public Policy from the Humphery Institute; her J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law; and her LL.M. in Energy and Environmental Law from the University of Houston School of Law.  Her recent article on human oocyte cryopreservation is forthcoming in the Arkansas Law Review, and her latest book on death and dying is scheduled to be published by Edward Elgar Publishing.

Delante Spencer Thomas received his B.S. in Sports Management and Legal Studies and his M.S. in Public Relations from Syracuse University.  He received his J.D./Master of Labor Relations & Human Resources from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University.  Currently, Mr. Thomas is Deputy Inspector General for Cuyahoga County where he focuses on ethics.


Lon'Cherie' Billingsley received her B.A. from The Ohio State University and her J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Currently, she is a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland focusing on housing inequities. Prior to that, Ms. Billingsley served Cuyahoga County as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for six and a half years. 

Registration Information

Cost is $100 for those requesting Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit; accepting check and credit card only at the door; cost is Free for all other attendees. Registration is required for all attendees.




CLE credit: 3 Hours Pending

Category: CLE Programs, General

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