Celebrate Black History Month at Iowa State

AMES, Iowa — A variety of events are planned to celebrate Black History Month throughout February at Iowa State University and in Ames.

The United States has celebrated Black History Month in February for more than four decades as a time to recognize and honor the achievements and contributions of African Americans.

Events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise indicated. Event sponsors are listed in parentheses. Check back often as this schedule is updated throughout the month.

Schedule of events

Throughout February, Parks Library: A book display with the theme "African Americans and the Vote" will be split between the Fireplace Reading Room and a mobile unit in the lobby. An online guide has also been created that contains materials related to Black History Month, and more, for those interested in extensive research. (University Library)

Feb. 1, 2 p.m., Ames Public Library: Showing of “Best of Enemies,” the movie based off the popular book “The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South,” by Osha Gray Davidson. A discussion will follow the screening. (Ames Public Library, Ames branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) 

'Just Mercy' book cover

Feb. 4, 5:30 p.m., Ames Public Library: “Just Mercy” discussion. A book and movie discussion of “Just Mercy,” a memoir by Bryan Stevenson that chronicles his lifelong fight to defend people who are wrongly convicted or who don’t have representation. A panel discussion will include Monic Behnken, associate professor of sociology; William Novotny Lawrence, associate professor in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication; and Shawn Smith, attorney with The Smith Law Firm, PC. A small group discussion will follow the panel discussion. Food and a supervised children’s activity will be provided. Refreshments at 5:30 p.m., discussion begins at 6 p.m. (ISU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, ISU Black Faculty and Staff Association, Ames Public Library)

Feb. 8-9, Ames Public Library: Black Arts and Music Festival. Celebrate the artistic and cultural contributions of African and African American visual and performing artists in the community. (Ames Public Library, Ames branch of the NAACP, ISU College of Design, ISU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Ames Community Arts Council, Ames Public Arts Commission, Ames Public Library Friends Foundation)

Feb. 13-16, 7 and 10 p.m., Carver 101: Cyclone Cinema screenings of “Queen & Slim” every night for four days, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. each night. (Student Union Board)

Feb. 13, 6 p.m., Parks Library 198: Film screening, "I Am Not Your Negro: James Baldwin and Race in America." Filmmaker Raoul Peck directs this documentary based on the book that author James Baldwin never finished, about the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. (University Library) 

Ankara bracelets

Feb. 13, 5:30 p.m., Gateway Hotel and Convention Center: 20th annual Freedom Fund Banquet, with keynote speaker Leon Andrews, director of Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL) Program for the National League of Cities. Tickets are $75. Registration deadline is Feb. 6. (Ames branch of the NAACP)

Feb. 17-22, 2-9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Memorial Union Workspace: Drop-in craft: Ankara wrapped bangle bracelets. Ankara fabric (or African Wax Printing) is created through a wax-resist dyeing technique and is known for its vivid colors and bold patterns. Find a combination of Ankara fabrics that you like, and we will show you how to wrap them around cord to make a set of three bracelets sized just for you. Open to all ages if accompanied by an adult. Cost is $6. (Student Activities Center)

Feb. 19, 6 p.m., Carver 101: Discussion and screening of “Harriet,” which follows the heroic story of former slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman. A panel discussion between ISU students and related clubs and organizations will begin at 6 p.m. The film screening will begin at 7 p.m. (Student Union Board) 

John Primer

John Primer

Feb. 28, 8 p.m., Maintenance Shop: John Primer concert. Primer has undisputedly helped build the sound and style of Chicago blues as we know it today. Advance tickets are $12 for the public and $8 with an ISU student ID. Ticket prices increase $2 the day of the show. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. (Student Union Board)

Feb. 29, 2 p.m., Ames Public Library: Film showing of “Black N Black,” a documentary exploring the relationship between African Americans and African immigrants to the United States. (Ames Public Library, Ames Community School District)

March 6, all day, Memorial Union: Thomas L. Hill Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE), comprehensive forum on issues of race and ethnicity at Iowa State and beyond. Free, open to ISU students, faculty and staff. Register by 5 p.m. March 2. The March 4 pre-conference is open to ISU faculty and staff. Read more about 20 years of ISCORE in Inside Iowa State.