Student trip to the American South subject of documentary screening Tuesday in Iowa City

'Still Rising' doc part of city's Black History Month programming

Students pose outside the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. A doc
Students pose outside the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. A documentary of Iowa City students’ trip to the American South in 2018 to learn about racial equality will be shown at noon Tuesday at the Iowa City Public Library. (Photo courtesy of Jack Brooks)

IOWA CITY — Small groups of Iowa City students have traveled to the American South every year for the past decade to learn about racial equality.

The 2018 trip is the subject of a documentary, “Still Rising,” screening at the Iowa City Public Library at noon Tuesday.

“Over the course of nine days, I captured around 900 clips, 30 interviews, and a wealth of knowledge,” director Jack Brooks said in a statement. “It took six months of editing to create this documentary, which hopefully shares a portion of this eye-opening experience with the audience. I feel fortunate to have taken the trip, and I hope others can also be a part of the experience.”

The documentary first premiered in April 2019.

Following the screening, Royceann Porter — the first black Johnson County supervisor — and former city council member Rockne Cole will lead a discussion of the film.

The trip was the last for Henri Harper, founder of the FasTrac Iowa City. According to the organization’s website, Harper has taken a busload of students to civil rights landmarks and Historically Black Colleges and Universities annually since 2007.

More than 600 students have been on one of FasTrac’s trips, according to an Iowa City news release.


The screening is part of the City of Iowa City’s Black History Month programming. In addition to the documentary screening, which was directed by a city employee, Iowa City is hosting Black History trivia at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center and a discussion about the preservation of the city’s black history at noon Feb. 25 at the library.

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