Sunday, January 24, 2016

Black History Month trivia

I compiled this list of trivia questions for Black History Month at my kids' elementary school. I tried to create a list that was balanced between men and women, historical and modern figures, and various fields (science, rights, entertainment etc.). I ordered the list in approximate order of difficulty for the 19 school days in February. I'm posting the list here so that other elementary schools can use it if they want:

Black History Month Trivia Questions
(in order of difficulty)

1.    Today’s famous Black American is the 44th president of the United States. He was elected president in 2008 and again in 2012. He is president now. Who is he?
Answer: Barack Obama

2.    Today’s famous Black American is known as the “mother of the Civil Rights movement.” As a member of the Montgomery, Alabama NAACP, she chose to be arrested on the city bus in order to challenge the law that Black Americans had to sit at the back of the bus. Her arrest started a year-long boycott of Montgomery city buses. Who is she?
Answer: Rosa Parks

3.    Today’s famous Black American was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He was a minister who believed in the power of non-violence. He led marches and organized protests for equal rights in cities across the United States. His “I Have a Dream” speech is one of the most famous speeches in U.S. history. Who is he?
Answer: Martin Luther King Jr.

4.    Today’s famous Black American lived at the time of slavery in the United States. She was born a slave in Maryland but escaped to Pennsylvania. Over 10 years she completed 19 secret missions to rescue over 300 people from slavery. She was known as “Moses” for leading people to freedom. Who is she?
Answer: Harriet Tubman

5.    Today’s famous Black American played second base for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947 to 1956. He was the first African American to play in the Major Leagues, ending segregation in baseball. He was an All-Star player for six years in a row. On April 15 every year, every player on every team in Major League Baseball wears his number, 42. Who is he?
Answer: Jackie Robinson

6.    Today’s famous Black American was a singer, songwriter, and dancer. His album Thriller is the best-selling music album of all time. He had 13 Number 1 songs, including Billie Jean, Beat It, Man in the Mirror, and Black or White. He won 13 Grammy Awards and 26 American Music Awards, including “Artist of the Century.” Who is he?
Answer: Michael Jackson

7.    Today’s famous Black American is a musician known as Queen B. She has been singing for the past 19 years and has won 20 Grammy Awards. She has had 22 Number 1 songs, including Single Ladies, If I Were a Boy and Listen. Forbes Magazine named her the Most Powerful Female Musician of 2015. Who is she?
Answer: Beyonce Knowles

8.    Today’s famous Black American is a talk-show host, actor, and producer. She hosted a talk show from 1986 to 2011 that is the highest-rated talk show in American history. She owns her own magazine and television channel. She is one of the richest people in the world, worth 3 billion dollars, and she has given hundreds of millions of dollars to education. Who is she?
Answer: Oprah Winfrey

9.    Today’s famous Black Americans are two sisters who are considered the best tennis players of all time. Between the two of them, they have won 8 Olympic gold medals in tennis and hold 117 championship titles. Who are they?
Answer: Serena & Venus Williams

10. Today’s famous Black American was the first African American justice on the United States Supreme Court. He was on the Supreme Court from 1967 to 1991. Before he became a judge, he was a lawyer who won the case for school desegregation in Brown v. Board of Education. Who is he?
Answer: Thurgood Marshall

11. Today’s famous Black American is an astronomer and writer. He is the director of the Hayden Planetarium and one of the best known scientists in the world. He has written many books and articles about science and has hosted and appeared on many TV shows. In 2015, the National Academy of Science awarded him the Public Welfare Medal for his “extraordinary role in exciting the public about the wonders of science.” Who is he?
Answer: Neil deGrasse Tyson

12. Today’s famous Black American lived during the time of slavery in the United States. He escaped from slavery to become a famous writer, speaker, and newspaper publisher. His books, speeches and newspapers told people about the evils of slavery and argued that all people should have equal rights. After the Civil War he became president of the new Freedman’s Savings Bank. Who is he?
Answer: Frederick Douglass

13. Today’s famous Black American was an inventor who improved travel by train in the 19th century. He received 57 patents for his inventions. We use his name today when we call the original and best thing “the real McCoy.” Who is he?
Answer: Elijah McCoy

14. Today’s famous Black American is a doctor and an astronaut. She was the first African American woman to go to space. She was an astronaut from 1987 to 1993. She started her own science and technology company and runs an international science camp for kids. Who is she?
Answer: Mae Jemison

15. Today’s famous Black American was an inventor who made communities safer. He invented the first safety hood so that firefighters and rescue workers could safely go into places filled with smoke and poisonous gases. He also invented the first traffic signal so that carriages and cars would not crash into each other. Who is he?
Answer: Garrett Morgan

16. Today’s famous Black American was the first self-made female millionaire in the United States. She created hair and beauty products and trained women around the country to sell them. As her business grew, she continued to support her community, giving money to education, the NAACP, and the YMCA. Who is she?
Answer: Madame CJ Walker

17. Today’s famous Black American is the current Attorney General of the United States. This means she is the chief lawyer for the United States government. She represents the United States in all legal matters and advises the president. Who is she?
Answer: Loretta Lynch

18. Today’s famous Black American was a writer, poet, professor, and activist. Her book of poetry Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie won the Pulitzer prize.  Her many books include I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, I Shall Not be Moved, and the children’s book Life Doesn’t Frighten Me. Who is she?
Answer: Maya Angelou

19. Today’s famous Black Americans are the creators of the Black Lives Matter movement. These three women are working to end racism in the United States criminal justice system. They use social media, non-violent protest, and disruption of public events to draw attention to violence facing African Americans. Their organization, Black Lives Matter, was a runner-up to Time Magazine’s 2015 Person of the Year. Who are they?
Answer: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi

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