Black Lives, Black Stories

A Racial Justice Film Series

In 2020, Ames Public Library hosted a film discussion series centering on African Americans and their experiences. Participants watched each film on their own time using the Library's free Kanopy streaming service. Then, they joined a live virtual conversation facilitated by Dr. Novotny Lawrence from ISU's Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and the Department of English.

Presented in partnership with Ames Public Library, Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, and Iowa State University Department of English.

I Am Not Your Negro movie cover

I Am Not Your Negro: James Baldwin and Race in America

Watch video recording

Supplemental Resources




  • “The Devil Finds Work” found in Collected Essays by James Baldwin (814 BAL 1998)
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (305.8 KEN 2019)
  • The Clansman by Thomas Dixon, Jr. (available as an E-book on BRIDGES/OverDrive with your
  • Ames Public Library Card)
  • The Leopard’s Spots: A Romance of the White Man’s Burden 1865-1900 by Thomas Dixon, Jr. (available as an E-book on Project Gutenberg)


Films & DVDs

  • The Birth of a Nation (DVD DRAMA BIR)
  • Gone With the Wind (DVD DRAMA GON)
  • Selma (DVD DRAMA SEL)
  • Get Out (DVD SCI-FI-GET)
  • Us (DVD SCI-FI US)
  • Green Book (DVD DRAMA GREEN)
  • 13th (Full feature available on YouTube courtesy of Netflix)




Resources mentioned that are not available at APL or for free online streaming:

  • The Help (2011 film)
  • When They See Us (Netflix)










Short film



  • Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City by Kendrick Lamar (available to stream or download on Hoopla)



  • Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? by Mumia Abu-Jamal (323.1196 ABU 2017)
  • Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. by Danielle Allen (305.242 ALL 2017)
  • Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin (305.8 BAL 2012)
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown (305.896 BRO 2018)
  • What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker by Damon Young (920 YOUNG D 2019)
  • All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson (YA 920 JOHNSON G)
For Ahkeem movie cover

For Ahkeem: Challenges Facing African American Teenagers

Moonlight movie cover