Take a quick quiz about black history


February 04, 2007|By Robert White | Robert White,Special to the Sun

Do you know your black history?

Take this test and see how well you do.

The quiz was developed by Coppin State University professor Charles Christian, founder of the annual Black Saga competitions, which are held in 162 schools in Maryland.

The competitions for elementary and middle school students began in January and culminate next month with the state finals at Towson University.

Many of the questions for the contest and for this quiz were taken from Christian's book, Black Saga: The African American Experience, which includes more than 500 years of African-American history.

You might want to brush up on the topic before taking this quiz. It's not easy!

Slavery questions

1. In 1634, farmers in the Chesapeake Bay region imported white and black indentured servants, and later enslaved Africans, to profitably grow what crop?

2. Slavery on the mainland of North America began in the "tidewater region" of the Chesapeake colonies. Name the colonies that made up the Chesapeake tidewater region. 3. According to the journal of John Winthrop, an important settler in the Massachusetts colony, when was the first cargo of enslaved Africans brought to New England? 4. How long would it take for a typical slave ship traveling from Gambia, the Gold Coast, Guinea or Senegal to reach New England, the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico or the West Indies? 5. During the early years of the slave trade, most slaves who survived the voyage from Africa to the West Indies were trained there to work and obey masters. This process could last three to four years. It ended when the Southern colonies needed so many workers that planters imported enslaved Africans directly. What was the training period called? 6. In what year did Maryland pass a law that recognized slavery as legal? 7. In 1700, this person was the first public official to "outrightly" denounce slavery when he published The Selling of Joseph. In this story, he compared slavery to the Old Testament story of Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery for 20 pieces of silver. Name this public official and the colony where he lived. 8. Although only a few black people lived in New England in 1700, one large city became very important for slave trading. Ships with food and other products sailed to the West Indies, where the goods were traded for rum. The rum then was transported to Africa to buy enslaved Africans who were brought back to the West Indies. The ships then returned to home port with sugar and molasses. Name the city that was called the "hub of America slave trading."

9. In 1712, what colony introduced the strict "slave code" written by the English for Barbados onto the mainland of North America? The code was later copied and revised by other colonies with enslaved Africans.

10. In the mid-1700s, most of the tobacco crop in the Chesapeake region was raised on hundreds of plantations that ranged in size from 1,000 to 6,000 acres. On one large plantation in Prince George's County, one planter had more than 40,000 acres and about 300 slaves. He was said to be one of the richest man in America at the time. Name him. 11. He was a co-founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society, and in his home, he is said to have had a trapdoor, dubbed "Saint's Rest," which concealed a secret room in which fugitives could hide. This abolitionist also supported the "Free Produce Movement," which used no food or other products produced by enslaved labor. When Pennsylvania school officials decided to exclude black children from public schools, he withheld his sizable tax payment and the policy was reversed. Name this abolitionist. 12. This former enslaved person was one of the most-influential African-Americans between 1840 and 1870. At the National Convention of Colored Men in Buffalo, N.Y., he delivered "An Address to Slaves of the United States" in which he said: "Rather die freemen than live to be slaves. Remember that you are FOUR MILLION! ... Let your motto be resistance! Resistance! RESISTANCE!" Name this abolitionist. 13. This African-American woman was a public lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society. In one of her speeches, her message was "Daughters of Africa, awake! arise! distinguish yourselves!" She toured Europe lecturing about the suffering of enslaved Africans in America. Her speeches focused on black advancement and the independence of black women in mind and labor. Today, some of her speeches are included in a growing body of black nationalism and feminist literature. Name her. 14. This gifted poet, writer, and orator of the anti-slavery movement was called the "Bronze Muse." Growing up in Baltimore, she later devoted her life to ending the enslavement and oppression of Africans. Some of her works, especially her only novel, Iola Leroy, have been rediscovered. Name this African-American poet.

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