The Inquirer's Tom Ferrick (a staunch supporter of mandatory African American history for all Philadelphia school children -- a subject I posted about here) is asking his readers to test their black history IQ.

Intrigued by this, I took the test, and received a perfect score of 100% correct. I'm not sure how to interpret these results. Does it mean that my education was sufficient? I never took an African American history course, and I have not read the proposed text -- "The African-American Odyssey, by Darlene Clark Hine, William C. Hine and Stanley Harrold."

In the interest of fairness, I thought I should share the test with my readers. (I'm wondering.... if I know this stuff without having taken any special courses, I'm wondering whether it might be treated part of American history, as opposed to a special, separate-but-equal, diversity-style history.)

Here's the test:

1. True or false: Most blacks who ended up in slavery were captured by European traders who raided the African coast.

2. It is estimated that between 1451 and 1870, nearly 9.3 million Africans were brought to the New World as slaves. Which area got the greatest number?

a) The 13 British colonies

b) Caribbean nations.

c) Brazil.

d) Spanish colonies.

3. True or false: One-third of the captured slaves died in passage to the New World.

4. True or false: After the Revolutionary War, while the South maintained slavery, it quickly disappeared in most northern states.

5. In 1860, there were nine million whites living in the Southern states. What percentage of them owned slaves?

a) 62

b) 32

c) 16

d) 4

6. True or false: Blacks enlisted and fought for the Union cause from the beginning of the Civil War.

7. Under the "separate but equal policy" condoned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896, schools in the South became segregated after Reconstruction ended.

In 1915, in the 23 largest cities of the South, there were a total of 36 whites-only high schools. How many black high schools were there?

a) 36

b) 22

c) 8

d) 0

8. He ridiculed the NAACP as "the National Association for Certain People" and called W.E.B. DuBois a "lazy, dependent mulatto." Name this political leader of the 1920s.

9. True or false: After Pearl Harbor, African Americans volunteered for the armed services in such record numbers that the Pentagon ended its long-standing policy of segregating black and white troops.

10. True or false: The U.S. Voting Rights Act of 1965 was very effective in empowering blacks to exercise their right to vote.

OK kids! If you took the test without peeking, you may then click below to score your answers.

(BTW, I sure hope they're going to grade the students who take the course; grades are going out of style these days.)


1. False

2. B.

3. True

4. False

5. D.

6. False

7. D.

8. Marcus Garvey

9. False

10. True

posted by Eric on 07.31.05 at 07:06 PM


On 5 & 7, I was guessing, but guessed right. Didn't know the Marcus Garvey one.

Beck   ·  July 31, 2005 10:53 PM

Missed 7 & 8

Funny thing is, even with Black history month one will find a substantial number of people who will say 1 is true and 2 is a.

Darleen   ·  August 1, 2005 1:38 AM

oh! I like to see the look on people's faces when I tell 'em the first slaves in the Carribean were NOT Africans.

They were Irish, via Cromwell, young men for hard labor and young women to "pleasure" English soldiers.

And US history in the classroom lacks in including discussion of indenture servants aka bond slaves. They fared little better than chattel slaves.

My paternal family -- Click -- came to the New World in 1697 as bond slaves. Through England to New York and sold to work a plantation in Virginia. Took 60 years to pay off the bond.

Darleen   ·  August 1, 2005 1:42 AM

Very interesting quiz. I thought it would be more tendentious than it turned out to be. In some ways, European "intentured servants" actually fared even worse than Negro slaves, for the very fact that their term of servitude was limited. As Jim Goad put it, it's the way you treat a car you own better than a car you rent. I know that's an obscene analogy, but it was an obscene sitituation.

By the way, in what other country or civilization was slavery known as "the peculiar institution", as it was called in America? Not, I'm afraid to say, in Greece, Rome, Babylon, Egypt, or any other that I know of, and certainly not Africa at the time. They had their glories, their eternal Classical Values -- but calling slavery peculiar, and then fighting a Civil War to end it, was not one of them. God bless America.

Holy Dawn and her holy Negro wife Norma.... "Communism vs. the Negro"....

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