Black History Quiz: Test Your Knowledge

We are presenting this Black History Quiz to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of Black History and to give you an opportunity to learn even more.  For more on African American History, go to


1. Who was the first African warrior-king to unite Upper and Lower Egypt four millennia ago?
2. Name two great empires in pre-colonial Africa.
3. Name the fierce black woman and abolitionist and women’s rights activist woman who spoke truth to power with her famous statement, “Ain’t I a Woman?”
4. Who was the legendary female journalist and civil rights activist who wrote and fought against the lynching of black people in the United States?
5. Who wrote the Black National Anthem?
6. Who was the first African American woman to receive a patent?
7. Who invented the automatic traffic signal and the gas mask?
8. Who wrote the song “St. Louis Blues” and is known as “Father of the Blues?”
9. Who was the founder of the largest major black nationalist movement?
10.  Name the most famous female writer associated with the Harlem Renaissance


1. Menes is the African warrior-King who united Upper and Lower Egypt.

2. The Songhai Empire, also known as the Songhay Empire, was an African state of West Africa. From the early 15th to the late 16th century, Songhai was one of the largest African empires in history. The Mali Empire was a West African empire of the Mandinka from c. 1230 to c. 1600. The empire was renowned for the wealth. The Mali Empire had many profound cultural influences on West Africa allowing the spread of its language, laws and customs along the Niger River.

3. Sojourner Truth was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist.  Her best-known speech, Ain’t I a Woman?, was delivered in 1851 at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.

4.  Ida Bell Wells-Barnett was an African American journalist, newspaper editor.  An early leader in the civil rights movement, she documented the extent of lynching in the United States. Shegg was also active in the women’s rights movement and the women’s suffrage movement.

5. James Weldon Johnson was an author, politician, diplomat, critic, journalist, poet, anthologist, educator, lawyer, songwriter, and early civil rights activist. Johnson composed the lyrics of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” This song would later become to be known—and adopted as such by the Africans Americans as the Black National Anthem.

6. Sarah E. Goode was the first African-American woman to receive a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Due to the limited living spaces of urban life, many of her customers complained about not having enough room to place full-size beds in their apartments. Goode was inspired to design and construct what is known today as the Folding Bed.
7. Garrett Augustus Morgan was an African American inventor who originated a respiratory protective hood (similar to the modern gas masks), invented a hair-straightening preparation, and patented a type of traffic signal. He is renowned for a heroic rescue in which he used his hood to save workers trapped in a tunnel system filled with fumes.
8. William Christopher Handy, a blues composer and musician wrote the St. Louis Blues. It has been played and enjoyed the world over. According to Handy, he found his inspiration for the song after he met a black woman tormented by her husband’s absence.
9. Marcus Garvey was a publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, black nationalist and Pan-Africanist.  Marcus Garvey was founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Garvey was unique in advancing a Pan-African philosophy to inspire a global mass movement focusing on Africa known as Garveyism.

10. Zora Neale Hurston is considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature. Hurston was closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance and has influenced such writers as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Gayle Jones, Alice Walker, and Toni Cade Bambara.


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