African-American History Quiz
What civil rights leader wrote "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," which argued the case for "civil disobedience"—the moral duty for individuals to disobey unjust laws?
- Martin Luther King was arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala. While in jail he wrote his famous essay, "Letter from Birmingham Jail," which advocated nonviolent civil disobedience.
What were Jim Crow laws?
- Jim Crow laws permitted segregation on railways, restaurants, hospitals, theaters, and schools, and a whole host of other public institutions.
What was the Emancipation Proclamation?
- In 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring "that all persons held as slaves" within the Confederate states "are, and henceforward shall be free."
What is an abolitionist?
- Abolitionists believed that slavery should be abolished.
Which famous Supreme Court case in 1896 declared that segregation was legal and constitutional, as long as segregated facilities were "separate but equal?"
- Plessy v. Ferguson legalized segregation by claiming that as long as segregated facilities were "separate but equal." they did not violate any constitutional rights. In reality, segregated facilities were shamefully unequal. "Separate but equal" was a myth disguising racism.
Which famous Supreme Court Case led to the desegregation of schools?
- Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans. was a unanimous decision ruling that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. It overturned the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned "separate but equal" segregation of the races, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." The ruling paved the way for desegregation.
Which of these famous books stirred up anti-slavery sentiment in the United States before the Civil War?
- Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, was published in 1852. It became one of the most influential works to stir anti-slavery sentiments before the Civil War. When Abraham Lincoln met her, he is reported to have said, "So this is the little lady that started this big war!"
Who were the "Little Rock Nine?"
- The Little Rock Nine Little were the first black teenagers to attend all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. Federal troops and the National Guard had to be called in to protect the students from angry and violent whites who did everything they could to prevent the students from attending the school.
What famous event took place during the March on Washington?
- Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington,on August 28, 1963. The March on Washington, was attended by some 250,000 people, and was the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation's capital.
Who was the most famous "conductor" on the Underground Railroad?
- Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave, helped other slaves escape to freedom in Canada though the Underground Railroad.