Black History Month Calendar of Events

Image of Africa. Black History Month 2020African Americans and the Vote

Feb. 1 - 29 | Parks 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)

Feb. 1 | 2:00 p.m. | Ames Public Library 

Just Mercy

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, ISU’s Black Faculty and Staff Association and the Ames Public Library will be hosting a book and movie discussion on Just Mercy. Join us in panel and discussion of the book and movie, Just Mercy, panelist include: Dr. Monic Behnken, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology ISU, William “Novonty” Lawrence, Associate Professor, Greenlee School of Journalism ISU, and Shawn Smith of The Smith Law Firm, PC. Small group discussion will follow panel discussion. Attendees are encouraged to have attended the Just Mercy movie and/or read the Just Mercy Book (Availabile on Amazon, from Parks Library, or from the Ames Public Library). Food and supervised child activity provided.

Feb. 4 | 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. | Ames Public Library Farewell T. Brown Auditorium

Black Arts and Music Exhibit

Celebrate the artistic and cultural contributions of African and African American visual artists in the community. Come check out the work from various artists who will be featured in the upcoming Black Arts and Music Festival, a two-day, family-friendly event, February 8-9. Provided in partnership with Ames Public Library, Ames Branch of the NAACP, ISU College of Design, ISU Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Ames Community Arts Council, Ames Public Arts Commission. Supported by Ames Public Library Friends Foundation.

Feb. 2 - 15 | Ames Public Library

Black Arts and Music Festival

The Black Arts & Music Festival (BAMF) is a two-day, family-friendly event hosted by the Ames Public Library, Ames Branch NAACP, Ames Commission on the Arts, Ames Community Arts Council, Iowa State University College of Design, and Iowa State Office of Diversity and Inclusion to celebrate and promote greater awareness and appreciation of the artistic and cultural contributions of African and African American visual and performing artists in the community. This event is funded by the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation.

Feb. 8 and 9 | Ames Public Library

Parks Library Film Series: I am Not Your Negro: James Baldwin and Race in America

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, "Remember This House." The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished.

ISU Students,  Faculty, and Staff  can access the film here:

Feb. 13 | 6:00 p.m. | Parks Library 198

20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet

This NAACP funraiser will feature 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)

More information available here:

Feb. 13 | 5:30 p.m. | Gateway Hotel and Convention Center

Cyclone Cinema: Queen & Slim

Starring, Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith, in this film, a couple's first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.

More information about the event:

Feb. 13-16 | 7:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. | Seasons, Union Drive Marketplace and Conversations

Drop-in Craft: Ankata 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. Drop in but give yourself an hour.

Cost: $6

Feb. 19 - Mar. 9| Octagon Center for the Arts

Harriet: Film Screening and Discussion

In celebration of Black History Month this year, Student Union Board is showing a specialty screening of the biographical film, Harriet, which follows the heroic story of former slave and abolitionist, Harriet Tubman. The screening is taking place Wednesday, February 19, from 6-10 PM. Prior to the film, we will be holding a corresponding discussion between ISU students and related clubs and organizations that feel passionately about social justice and inclusiveness.

More information on the event availble here:

Feb. 19 | 6:00 p.m. | Sun Room, Memorial Union

John Primer Blues Concert

John Primer has undisputedly helped build the sound and style of Chicago blues as we know it today. The echos of tradition bellowing from the birthplaces he played such as: Maxwell Street, Theresa's, Checkerboard and Rosa's Lounges, pulse from every chord in his fingers today. John Primer is a Chicago Blues Living Legend.

This is a seated show. Tickers are $12 ($8 with ISU student ID) in advance. $2 increase day of show.

More information on the event availble here:

Feb. 28 | 8:00 p.m. | Maintenance Shop, Memorial Union

Film Showing: Black N Black

This documentary explores the relationship between African Americans and African immigrants to the United States. (Ames Public Library, Ames Community School District)

More information on the event availble here:

Feb. 29 | 2:00 p.m. | Ames Public Library

Thomas L. Hill Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE)

ISCORE is a comprehensive forum on issues of race and ethnicity at Iowa State and beyond. Free, open to ISU students, faculty and staff. The March 4 pre-conference is open to ISU faculty and staff.

March 6 | Memorial Union