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IPS’ Black History Trivia and Quizzes

Join us as we celebrate all month long with unique and intriguing Black history facts on both our website and social media platforms. And if you think you’re a history buff, win an IPS Swag Bag by correctly answering the IPS Black History Month quizzes throughout the month.

Take Quiz 4 HERE. The first person to answer all questions correctly will be contacted this week regarding their IPS Swag Bag.

TRIVIA (more will be added throughout the month)

Did you know the first African-American film company was called Lincoln Motion Picture Company?

The Lincoln Motion Picture Company was founded on this date in 1916, the first movie company owned and controlled by Black filmmakers. Lincoln was the creation of Black actor Noble Johnson and his brother George Johnson (a postal employee in Omaha, Nebraska).

Did you know track star Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics in 1936?

His greatest moment, however, came a year later, in a politically-charged environment. Owens traveled to Berlin to take part in the 1936 Olympics – an event overseen by Adolf Hitler, which the new German chancellor hoped would profile the supremacy of the Aryan ‘master race’.

It wasn’t to be: Owens stole the show. He won the 100m in 10.30 seconds, the 200m in 20.70 seconds, and then the long jump, with an impressive leap of 8.06 meters – apparently after getting some advice about his run-up from a German competitor, Luz Long. His fourth gold came in the 4x100m relay, in which Owens formed a key part of the team that set a new world record of 39.80 seconds.

Did you know Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives?

The first African-American Congresswoman, Shirley Anita Chisholm represented a newly reapportioned U.S. House district centered in Brooklyn, N.Y. Elected in 1968 with deep roots in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Chisholm was catapulted into the national limelight by virtue of her race, gender, and outspoken personality. In 1972, in a largely symbolic undertaking, she campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Did you know Crispus Attucks* was a whaler?

Attucks is thought to have joined the crew of a Nantucket whaling ship and worked as a harpooner. He went by the alias “Michael Johnson,” perhaps to avoid being sent back into slavery.

*Namesake of Crispus Attucks High School

Did you know Alexander Miles invented automatic elevator doors?

Alexander Miles was a successful Black inventor in the late-19th century, best known for inventing elevator doors that could automatically open and close. His invention made riding an elevator much safer, with automatic doors still being a standard feature on modern-day elevators.

Did you know George Washington Carver developed more than 300 derivative products?

In all, Carver developed more than 300 food, industrial and commercial products from peanuts, including milk, Worcestershire sauce, punches, cooking oils and salad oil, paper, cosmetics, soaps and wood stains. He also experimented with peanut-based medicines, such as antiseptics, laxatives and goiter medications.

Did you know the first Black woman to go to space was Mae C. Jemison?

As a doctor, engineer and NASA astronaut, Mae Jemison has always reached for the stars. In 1992, Jemison became the first African-American woman to travel in space. 

Did you know Garrett Morgan made both the gas mask and the traffic light?

Garrett Morgan was born in Paris, Kentucky, on March 4, 1877, and was the seventh of 11 children. He invented the three position traffic signal. The traffic signal was designed to stand on a street corner and notify vehicles and walkers whether they should stop or go.

He is best known for inventing a device called the Morgan Safety Hood and Smoke Protector in 1914. The invention was later dubbed the gas mask.

Did you know Freedom’s Journal was the first Black-owned and operated newspaper in the U.S.?

Founded on March 16, 1827 as a four-page, four-column standard-sized weekly, Freedom’s Journal was the first black-owned and operated newspaper in the United States, and was established the same year that slavery was abolished in New York State.

Did you know Fannie Lou Hamer fought for voting rights?

Fannie Lou Hamer was an American voting and women’s rights activist, community organizer, and a leader in the civil rights movement. She was the co-founder and vice-chair of the Freedom Democratic Party, which she represented at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

Did you know at age 15, Claudette Colvin was the first African-American to refuse to yield her bus seat?

In 1955, a Black woman refused to yield her seat to a white person on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was removed from the bus and arrested, her ordeal sparking legal action that led to the end of Alabama’s segregated bus laws and enabled a widespread civil rights movement to pick up steam.

You may think you know the story, but this one isn’t about Rosa Parks — it’s about Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old who made a stand against entrenched segregation nine months before Parks did, but saw her shining moment eclipsed as other narratives of the era took root in the public consciousness.

Stay connected with us @IPSSchools via our website and our Twitter and Facebook pages for trivia each week and the link to the most recent quiz.