Ames Public Library, Iowa State Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Iowa State Department of English will be hosting a virtual discussion series called "Black Lives, Black Stories" at 7 p.m. Monday.
“For Ahkeem: Challenges Facing African American Teenagers” will be the second film discussion via zoom Monday night.
Facilitating the live discussion is Novotny Lawrence, associate professor of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His research centers around African American cinematic and mediated experiences and pop culture.
Lawrence has a doctorate in theatre and film studies from the University of Kansas. He also has his bachelor's and master's degree in communication studies from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
He is the author of "Blaxploitation Films of the 1970s: Blackness and Genre" (Routledge, 2007), the editor of "Documenting the Black Experience" (McFarland, 2014) and the co-editor of "Beyond Blaxploitation" (Wayne State University Press, 2016).
The first film discussion covered the movie “I Am Not Your Negro,” directed by Raoul Peck.
In the first discussion, Lawrence talked about past history, such as George Washington owning slaves on his plantation, something many people didn’t know about.
“Somehow, it was more important to know George Washington had a cherry tree than that he owned people who looked like me,” Lawrence said.
He also discussed the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests that are happening all around the United States.
Participants can watch each film on their own using the library’s free Kanopy streaming service.
Registrants can receive materials that will dive deeper into the topics raised in each film shown.
Registration for this event is free and can be found on the Ames Public Library’s calendar.