Notable African-American Women Quiz
Who served as poet laureate of the United States?
- Rita Dove was poet laureate from 1993–1995.
Which of these actresses has NOT won an Oscar?
- Angela Bassett was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993), but she has not won one. Hattie McDaniel received the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Mammy in Gone With the Wind, becoming the first African American to win an Academy Award.Halle Berry won a Best Actress Oscar for Monster's Ball (2001).
Which activist's long career involved her deeply in three major civil right organizations—the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)?
- Ella Baker served as national secretary of the NAACP, and helped found both the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Which of these opera singers became the first African American to become a permanent member of the Metropolitan Opera Company?
- Legendary contralto Marian Anderson became the first African-American member of New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1955. She had already made history decades earlier, when she was banned from performing at Washington, D.C.'s, Constitution Hall in 1939 because she was black. The public outrage that ensued helped expose a larger segment of the American population to the moral bankruptcy of segregation.
Which journalist and civil rights leader crusaded against lynching?
- Over several decades, Wells-Barnett (1862–1931) campaigned and wrote tirelessly against lynching.
Who was the only black woman to serve as a U.S. senator?
- Carol Mosely-Braun made history in 1992 when she was elected to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first, and thus far only, black woman senator.
Which African-American woman won the Nobel Prize in Literature?
- Toni Morrison won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first and only African American thus far to receive the honor.
Which of these dancers became the director of a major American dance company?
- Judith Jamison, a long-time principal dancer for the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, became its director in 1990, after Ailey's death.
Which of these civil rights activists was the leader behind the Little Rock Nine, the students who desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957?
- Daisy Bates, the president of the Arkansas NAACP, organized and guided the Little Rock Nine, who defied school segregation in the Deep South. It was Bates who sent the telegram to President Eisenhower, requesting federal support after the students were threatened. Each day, before and after school, the students regrouped at Bates's house. Her memoir, The Long Shadow of Little Rock, won a 1988 National Book Award.
Which abolitionist was known for her extraordinary oratorical gifts?
- Sojourner Truth, a former slave, traveled the country speaking out against racism and for women's rights. She is best known for her charisma, majestic height, and her impassioned speech, Ain't I a Woman?, delivered at the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, in 1851.