Black History Month Quiz

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Portrait of African-American historian Carter Godwin Woodson as a young man. Courtesy of the New River Gorge National River website, National Park Service, Department of the Interior, United States Government.

Portrait of African-American historian Carter Godwin Woodson as a young man. Courtesy of the New River Gorge National River website, National Park Service, Department of the Interior, United States Government.

February is celebrated as Black History Month in the United States and Canada, a time to remember important people and events in African-American history.

The annual event traces its roots back to 1926, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced that the second week in February would be “Negro History Week.” The dates were chosen because that week included the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

In 1976, the U.S. government recognized Black History Month, and President Gerald Ford said, “We can seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Rosa Harrington, founder of Rosa’s African-American History Museum at the Weequahic Park Field House in Newark, prepared a short quiz focusing on 19th century abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman.

Harriet Tubman, circa 1910

Harriet Tubman, circa 1910

Questions:

1) Who was Harriet Tubman’s second husband?

2) Where was he buried?

3) How did he die?

4) What African tribe was Harriet Tubman’s grandmother from?

5) Was Harriet Tubman a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, a Freemasonry-related fraternal organization that is open to both men and women?

6) When did Harriet Tubman die?

Answers:

1) Nelson Davis, a Civil War soldier who worked as a bricklayer after the war, married Harriet Tubman in 1869. He was 22 years younger than her, but they spent 20 years together and adopted a baby girl named Gertie in 1874.

2) Davis was buried in Fort Hill Military Cemetery in Auburn, N.Y. after he died in 1888.

3) He died of tuberculosis. (Harriett’s first husband, John Tubman, was murdered by Robert Vincent after a dispute in 1867.)

4) The Ashanti tribe, from what is now known as Ghana.

5) Yes. A number of Eastern Star chapters are now named in Tubman’s honor.

6) Harriet Tubman died on March 10, 1913 of pneumonia. She was buried with military honors at the Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, N.Y., having served as a nurse and spy during the Civil War.


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