You might know that Black History Month began with historian Carter G. Woodson, who came up with the idea for a Negro History Week, a time to celebrate black history and achievement first marked in the second week of February in 1926 to honor the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.
But you might not know that Woodson is a graduate of Berea College. A native of Virginia, he moved to Fayette County, W.Va., to earn a living as a coal miner. He enrolled in high school at the age of 20 and earned his diploma in two years. He then worked as a teacher and principal before earning a bachelor's degree from Berea. He later became a Howard University professor.
In keeping with Woodson's idea of focusing on black history and education, we offer this Black History Month quiz, which includes questions about Kentucky's own black history.
1. The founder of the Nation of Islam was:
a) Elijah Muhammad.
b) Elijah Wood.
c) Ralph Ellison.
2. Thurgood Marshall was:
a) A prominent black thinker and architect of the Marshall Plan.
b) The first black Supreme Court justice.
c) A Harlem Renaissance writer.
3. Morgan Garrett, who was born in Paris, is best known as the inventor of the:
a) Cotton gin
b) Washing machine
c) Traffic signal
4. Which amendment to the Constitution guaranteed black people (and all citizens) equal protection under the law?
5. Black people, women and people ages 18 to 21 have all been kept from voting at some point in the history of the United States. In what order were these groups given the right to vote?
a) Black men, then women, then people 18 to 21
b) People 18 to 21, then black men, then women
c) Women, then black men, then people 18 to 21
6. What landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision struck down the idea of "separate but equal" schools for black people and whites?
a) Plessy vs. Ferguson.
b) Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kan.
c) Lyman T. Johnson vs. The University of Kentucky
7. The incarceration rates for black people in America have long been decried as a reflection of a biased justice system. At the end of 2000, what percentage of all black males in the United States ages 25 to 29 was in prison? (For comparison, the answer is 2.9 percent for all Hispanic males in that age group and 1.1 percent for all white males.)
a) 5.6 percent.
b) 9.7 percent.
c) 24.3 percent.
8. The holiday Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when:
a) Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, thus freeing slaves.
b) The day Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, and announced that the war was over and slaves were free.
c) Lincoln declared war with the South over the issue of slavery.
9. What Kentucky college, founded by an abolitionist, was the only integrated college in the South until state legislators passed the Day Law, forcing the school to become segregated?
a) Berea College
b) Brescia College
c) Lincoln College
True or false
10. When the United States' founding fathers wrote "all men are created equal," they meant black slaves, too.
11. In the "Tuskegee Experiment," the United States monitored 399 black men with syphilis for 40 years to see what would happen to them. The men were never told that they had syphilis and that a cure was discovered decades before the experiment ended.
12. The holiday Kwanzaa was created by black activist and scholar Maulana Karenga in 1966.
13. Participants in the Harlem Renaissance included Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Claude McKay.
14. The historically black college Howard University is in Atlanta.
Match the black Americans below with their ideas
A. "It is not integration that Negroes in America want, it is human dignity."
B. "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"
C. Encouraged black people to pick themselves up by their "bootstraps" and said: "In all things that are purely social, we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress."
D. Wanted to start a colony of black Americans in Liberia and said: "There shall be no solution to this race problem until you yourselves strike the blow for liberty."
E. Wrote The Souls of Black Folk and said of Booker T. Washington: "(When) Mr. Washington apologizes for injustice, does not rightly value the privilege and duty of voting, belittles the emasculating effects of caste distinctions, and opposes the higher training and ambitions of our brighter minds ... we must unceasingly and firmly oppose (him)."
F. Read the poem, On the Pulse of Morning at President Bill Clinton's inauguration: "You, created only a little lower than/ The angels, have crouched too long in/ The bruising darkness/ Have lain too long/ Face down in ignorance./Your mouths spilling words/ Armed for slaughter./ And the Rock cries out to us today, you/ may stand upon me/But do not hide your face."
G. Wrote the poem, Harlem, a passage from which reads: "What happens to a dream deferred?/ Does it dry up/ like a raisin in the sun?/ Or fester like a sore — / And then run? ... Maybe it just sags/ like a heavy load./ Or does it explode?"
H. "I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it. Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world — I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife."
■ Martin Luther King Jr.
■ W.E.B. Du Bois
■ Malcolm X
■ Booker T. Washington
■ Maya Angelou
■ Zora Neale Hurston
■ Langston Hughes
■ Marcus Garvey