Black History Month Brain Brawl

Colin Powell

United States general who was the first Black to serve as Chief of Staff

Nelson Mandela

South African President from 1994-1999. Helped to end Apartheid.

Barack Obama

2008; Democrat; first African American president.

Thurgood Marshall

American civil rights lawyer, first black justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. Marshall was a tireless advocate for the rights of minorities and the poor.

Toni Morrison

She was an American novelist.. In 1988, Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved; she gained worldwide recognition when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993.First black recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature

Freedom's Journal

The first African American newspaper, in 1827

Jackie Robinson

The first African American player in the major league of baseball. His actions helped to bring about other opportunities for African Americans.

Robert Johnson

The founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET). He was the first African American billionaire following the sale of his television network to Viacom.

Phyllis Wheatley

(1753-1784); a slave girl brought to Boston at age eight and never formally educated; she was taken to England when, at twenty years of age, she published a book of verse and later wrote other polished poems.

Oprah Winfrey

First African American to have her own television talk show. She is one of the world's wealthiest women and entertainers. She greatly impacted President Obama's campaign with her endorsement.


Year the Emancipation of Proclamation was signed


Year Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech


Year that Malcolm X was assassinated


Year Martin Luther King was assassinated


Year that Martin Luther King's birthday was first celebrated as a national holiday

Michael Jackson

King of Pop. The singer that holds the title of the most top 10 singles from an album for Thriller (1982) and the most number 1 singles from an album BAD (1987)

The Harlem Renaissance

A period in the 1920s when African-American achievements in art and music and literature flourished

Berry Gordy

An American record executive, record producer, songwriter, film producer and television producer. He is best known as the founder of the Motown record label and its subsidiaries, which was the highest-earning African-American business for decades.

The Underground Railroad

a system of secret routes used by escaping slaves to reach freedom in the North or in Canada

Wilma Rudolph

First American woman to win three Olympic gold medals in track and field in 1960

Dr. Charles Drew

The first African-American to discover a method to store blood and who made blood banks more effective.

Usain Bolt

Fastest Man on Earth. He is widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time.

Sojourner Truth

United States abolitionist and feminist who was freed from slavery and became a leading advocate of the abolition of slavery and for the rights of women (1797-1883)

Leontyne Price

Started off as a pianist and studied music, Got a scholarship to Julliard for her voice, Studied in Europe, Debut in Metropolitan Opera as the first African American Opera singer. Sang at JFK inauguration.

Shirley Chisholm

1st African American woman elected to Congress (NY) and later made a bid for the Democratic nomination in the 1972 presidential campaign

Barbara Jordan

The first African-American woman from a southern state to serve in Congress when she was elected to the House of Representatives in 1973.

W.E.B. DuBois

1st black to earn Ph.D. from Harvard, encouraged blacks to resist systems of segregation and discrimination, helped create NAACP in 1910

Medgar Evers

Director of the NAACP in Mississippi and a lawyer who defended accused Blacks, he was murdered in his driveway by a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Nat Turner

United States slave and insurrectionist who in 1831 led a rebellion of slaves in Virginia

Bessie Coleman

The first African-American woman to receive a pilot's license and the first to become a stunt pilot. She was the first woman of African-American descent, and the first of Native-American descent, to hold a pilot license. She earned her pilot license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale on June 15, 1921, and was the first black person to earn an international pilot's license.

Arthur Ashe

First African-American winner of a major men's tennis singles championship

Benjamin Banneker

African-American scientist who taught himself calculus and trigonometry. He also helped design the capitol in Washington D.C.

Langston Hughes

African American poet who described the rich culture of African American life using rhythms influenced by jazz music. He wrote of African American hope and defiance, as well as the culture of Harlem and also had a major impact on the Harlem Renaissance.

Madame C.J. Walker

A leading African American entrepreneur of hair care products who was one of the first women in the United States to become a millionaire.

Carter G. Woodson

This former coal mine worker born to former slaves got a degree from Harvard and started "Black History Month" Known as the father of Black History

Frederick Douglass

(1817-1895) American abolitionist and writer, he escaped slavery and became a leading African American spokesman and writer. He published his biography, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and founded the abolitionist newspaper, the North Star.

Rosa Parks

United States civil rights leader who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery (Alabama) and so triggered the national civil rights movement (born in 1913)

Harriet Tubman

United States abolitionist born a slave on a plantation in Maryland and became a famous conductor on the Underground Railroad leading other slaves to freedom in the North (1820-1913)

Hattie McDaniel

First African American to win an Academy Award

Ella Fitzgerald

was an American jazz singer sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

Vanessa Williams

Who was the first African-American woman to win the title of "Miss America"?

Willie Thrower

First African American to play QB in NFL (Bears) on October 18, 1953, Chicago Bears vs San Francisco 49ers. Replaced George Blanda

Louis Armstrong

Leading African American jazz musician during the Harlem Renaissance; he was a talented trumpeter whose style influenced many later musicians.

Brown vs. Board of Education (1954)

Supreme Court decision that overturned the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision (1896); led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the Court ruled that "separate but equal" schools for blacks were inherently unequal and thus unconstitutional. The decision energized the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

Martin Luther King Jr.

U.S. Baptist minister and civil rights leader. A noted orator, he opposed discrimination against blacks by organizing nonviolent resistance and peaceful mass demonstrations. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Nobel Peace Prize (1964)

Malcolm X

Black Muslim who argued for separation, not integration. He changed his views, but was assassinated in 1965.

Congressional Black Caucus

Groups of Blacks who are members of Congress that unify to come up with strategies to ensure that the needs of the Black community are addressed. "Watchdogs" for African American community in Congress.

Michael Jordan

This basketball player won 6 NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls

A Tribe Called Quest

This Hip Hop group released the albums Midnight Marauders and The Low End Theory

Marion Anderson

A distinguished African American singer, she had been refused the use of the Constitution Hall in Washington, DC by the all white Daughters of the American Revolution. Eleanor Roosevelt soon arranged for her performance at Lincoln Memorial.