African-American History Quiz II
During Reconstruction, who became the first African-American senator, ironically completing the term vacated ten years earlier by Jefferson Davis, who left the Senate to become the president of the Confederacy?
- In 1870, Hiram Revels was elected the first African-American member of the United States Senate. A few senators objected, arguing that Revels had not been a U.S. citizen for the nine years, a requirement for serving in the Senate—African Americans had only technically become citizens four years earlier, after the passage of the 1866 Civil Rights Act. But this ploy to keep him out of the Senate failed—the Senate voted 48 to 8 in favor of Revels. Revels served as senator from Feb. 25, 1870, to March 4, 1871. P.B.S. Pinchback won election to the House of Representatives in 1872 and to the U.S. Senate in 1873. But white southerners challenged the results and he was never permitted to assume either office.
When did the foreign slave trade end in the United States?
- The Framers of the U.S. Constitution debated the issue of slavery and ended up with a compromise, which appears in the so-called slavery clause (Article I, Section 9): the slave trade would be legal in the first years of the republic, but could be prohibited beginning in 1808. Congress abolished the foreign slave trade on Jan 1, 1808.
Which of the following was NOT a black nationalist movement?
- Black nationalism was a central tenet of both Malcolm X's Nation of Islam and Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association. It was not sought by A. Philip Randolph, the labor leader who formed the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (1925), the first African-American union. In its earliest years, the union fought for shorter hours, and better wages and working conditions for its members. It then expanded its goals, fighting against segregation and becoming an important force in triggering the civil rights movement.
What did the Dred Scott case decide?
- Dred Scott v. Sandford involved Dred Scott, a slave, who was taken from a slave state to a free territory. Scott filed a lawsuit claiming that because he had lived on free soil he was entitled to his freedom. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney disagreed, ruling that blacks were not citizens and therefore could not sue in federal court. Taney further inflamed antislavery forces by declaring that Congress had no right to ban slavery from U.S. territories.
What was the significance of June 19, 1865, known as Juneteenth?
- On June 19, 1865, two months after the Civil War ended, Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army informed the citizens of Galveston, Tex., that all slaves were free. Until then, these last 250,000 slaves in Texas had not been told the Union had won the civil war. The celebration of the day became known as Juneteenth.
When were the last Jim Crow laws, which institutionalized segregation in the south, abolished?
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 finally put an end to Jim Crow. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 made it illegal to advertise "any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination."
Rosa Parks's heroic refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a Birmingham bus is an iconic moment in the civil rights movement. But what were the actual circumstances of her refusal?
- Rosa Parks was already sitting in the "colored section" of the bus when the bus driver asked her to give up her seat to a white man because all the "whites only" seats in the front of the bus were filled. The demarcation between the "colored section" and the "whites only" section shifted on buses, depending on the racial makeup of the bus riders. The "colored section" shrunk if there were lots of whites on the bus—a black person sitting while a white person stood was not tolerated.
What did the 1978 Bakke decision issued by the Supreme Court determine about affirmative action?
- Regents of the University of California v. Bakke imposed limitations on affirmative action to ensure that providing greater opportunities for minorities did not come at the expense of the rights of the majority. The case involved the University of Calif., Davis, Medical School and Allan Bakke, a white applicant who was rejected twice even though there were minority applicants admitted with significantly lower scores than his. A closely divided Court ruled that while race was a legitimate factor in school admissions, the use of rigid quotas was not permissible. See also the Affirmative Action Timeline.
Which of the following civil rights murder trials ended with the all-white jury reaching their verdict to acquit to the two white suspects in just over an hour? With double-jeopardy protecting them from being retried, the two later boasted about the murders in a Look magazine interview, for which they were paid $4,000.
- In May 2004, the Justice Department called the 1955 prosecution of the Emmett Till murder a "grotesque miscarriage of justice." For more on this case and others, see Justice Overdue: Civil Rights Cases Reopened.
Around the turn of the last century a debate raged between two major black leaders, one calling for blacks to strive for economic betterment that would eventually win them wider acceptance in white society, and the other calling for immediate social and political equality. Who were the two framers of this debate?
- Booker T. Washington believed in a policy of accommodation to white society, whereas W.E.B. DuBois embraced a radical approach, calling for immediate equality for blacks in all areas of American life.