In observance of Black History Month, we invited readers to identify forty significant African Americans by matching their names with their corresponding portraits (by letter) and brief biographical descriptions (by number). The correct answers to the Black History Month Quiz are listed below.

Readers who submitted their answers prior to March 14, 2014 were eligible to win a Humanities Texas Barbara Jordan mug. Mugs were awarded to the entrants with the top ten scores.

Take the Black History Month Quiz

You can still try your hand at the Black History Month Quiz from our February 2014 e-newsletter. Please include your email address prior to submitting the quiz form in order to receive a summary of your answers. Take the quiz»

Black History Month Quiz - Answers

Marian Anderson - 24K

This world-famous contralto grew up singing in her church choir and performed an open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939. Conductor Arturo Toscanini reportedly said she had a "voice heard once in a hundred years."

Learn more about Marian Anderson in our Digital Repository.

Josephine Baker - 25N

This world-famous Parisian entertainer was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture.

Benjamin Banneker - 37FF

This eighteenth-century scientist and almanac author wrote to Thomas Jefferson:

"Sir, how pitiable is it to reflect, that although you were so fully convinced of the benevolence of the Father of Mankind, and of his equal and impartial distribution of these rights and privileges, which he hath conferred upon them, that you should at the same time counteract his mercies, in detaining by fraud and violence so numerous a part of my brethren, under groaning captivity and cruel oppression, that you should at the same time be found guilty of that most criminal act, which you professedly detested in others, with respect to yourselves."

John Biggers - 16B

This Texan artist is best known for his murals, such as The Contribution of Negro Women to American Life and Education. He once said, "I began to see art…as a responsibility to reflect the spirit and style of the Negro people."

Learn more about John Biggers on Texas Originals.

Julius Bledsoe - 23E

This singer, a native Texan, first performed the song "Ol’ Man River" in the original production of Show Boat and was among the first African Americans to appear on Broadway.

Learn more about Julius Bledsoe on Texas Originals.

John Mason Brewer - 18II

This Texan folklorist was the first African American member of the Texas Institute of Letters and the first African American vice president of the American Folklore Society.

Learn more about John Mason Brewer on Texas Originals.

Ralph Bunche - 8X

This diplomat played a part in trying to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the 1949 Armistice Agreements.

George Washington Carver - 32W

This scientist and inventor was the head of the Agriculture Department at the Tuskegee Institute. He encouraged farmers to grow peanuts as an alternative crop to cotton.

Nat King Cole - 3AA

This jazz musician appears in an uncredited role in Citizen Kane as the piano player in the El Rancho cabaret. He was also one of the first African Americans to host a television variety show.

Juanita Craft - 13Y

This Dallas NAACP leader who later served on the City Council once said, "For the first half of my life, they wouldn’t let me in the parks. Now they’re naming one after me."

Learn more about Juanita Craft in "The Craft of Civil Rights" from our February 2010 newsletter.

Norris Wright Cuney - 10G

Born into slavery, this Galveston political leader served on the Republican National Committee.

Learn more about Norris Wright Cuney on Texas Originals.

Frederick Douglass - 6T

This freed slave turned abolitionist and orator once wrote in a letter to his former owner, "I am your fellow man, but not your slave."

Learn more about Frederick Douglass in "Daina Ramey Berry on the Life and Work of Frederick Douglass" from our February 2013 newsletter.

W. E. B. DuBois - 17KK

This co-founder of the NAACP spent his life campaigning for equal rights for African Americans but died a year before the 1964 Civil Rights Act was signed into law.

Duke Ellington - 2LL

This composer and bandleader took the A-Train all the way to the top. His image can be found on the 2009 District of Columbia quarter.

Estevanico - 20GG

While traveling with Cabeza de Vaca in the sixteenth century, this Moroccan native became the first known person of African descent to set foot in the New World.

James Farmer Jr. - 7M

This Texas-born civil rights leader co-founded the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and organized the 1961 Freedom Ride.

Learn more about James Farmer Jr. in "Wiley College's Great Debaters" from our February 2008 newsletter.

Dorothy Height - 40P

This civil rights leader served as president of the National Council of Negro Women and wrote a column called "A Woman’s Word" for the New York Amsterdam News, a weekly African American newspaper.

Langston Hughes - 29Z

This Harlem Renaissance poet, novelist, and playwright also co-authored a children’s book called Boy of the Border with Arna Bontemps.

Learn more about Langston Hughes in "Boy of the Border: A Children's Tale by Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps" from our February 2010 newsletter.

Jack Johnson - 9MM

This professional boxer, known as the Galveston Giant, was the first African American World Heavyweight Champion.

Learn more about Jack Johnson on Texas Originals.

Scott Joplin - 39S

This native Texan, known as the King of Ragtime, received a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his contributions to American popular song.

Learn more about Scott Joplin on Texas Originals.

Barbara Jordan - 21F

This native Houstonian was the first African American woman in Texas to be elected to the state Senate and the U.S. Congress.

Learn more about Barbara Jordan on Texas Originals.

Martin Luther King Jr. - 34EE

This civil rights icon once said, "True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice."

Learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. in our traveling exhibition The Road to the Promised Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. 

Mickey Leland - 1DD

This native Texan was a United States Congressman known for his anti-poverty advocacy. He tragically died in a plane crash in Ethiopia.

Learn more about Mickey Leland on Texas Originals.

Joe Louis - 27R

This professional boxer held the title of World Heavyweight Champion for twelve straight years. He was also the first African American to play in a PGA tournament.

Thurgood Marshall - 30Q

While serving as the NAACP’s chief counsel, this lawyer successfully argued the case of Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court, to which he was later appointed.

William Madison "Gooseneck Bill" McDonald - 26O

This businessman and banker became the first African American millionaire in Texas.

Doris Miller - 12C

This Waco native was a cook in the United States Navy who became the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Lawrence Nixon - 11BB

This El Paso physician challenged the exclusion of African Americans from the Democratic Party’s white primary elections.

Jesse Owens - 33L

This athlete, nicknamed the “Buckeye Bullet” during his time at Ohio State University, explained his success by saying, "I let my feet spend as little time on the ground as possible. From the air, fast down, and from the ground, fast up."

Rosa Parks - 4NN

This Alabama seamstress’ arrest after refusing to sit in the back of a city bus triggered the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955.

A. Philip Randolph - 14J

This civil rights leader organized the 1963 March on Washington at which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Paul Robeson - 15H

This All-American football player and lawyer became an actor and singer, starring in acclaimed stage productions of Show Boat, Othello, and Emperor Jones.

Jackie Robinson - 5CC

This baseball player was the first to have his uniform number retired across all Major League teams.

Heman Marion Sweatt - 31V

This Houston mailman successfully sued The University of Texas School of Law after being denied admission because of his race.

Melvin Tolson - 35D

This poet and Wiley College professor and debate coach inspired the Denzel Washington film The Great Debaters.

Learn more about Melvin Tolson in "Memories of Melvin B. Tolson," "Wiley College's Great Debaters," and "Dr. Melvin B. Tolson" from our February 2008 newsletter.

Sojourner Truth - 36I

This abolitionist and women’s rights activist delivered her famous "Ain’t I a Woman?" speech at the 1851 Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio.

Harriet Tubman - 38U

This Underground Railroad conductor once said, "I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves."

Learn more about Harriet Tubman in our Digital Repository.

Booker T. Washington - 28JJ

This former slave who founded the Tuskegee Institute recounts his memory of emancipation in his autobiography, Up From Slavery:

"After the reading we were told that we were all free, and could go when and where we pleased. My mother, who was standing by my side, leaned over and kissed her children, while tears of joy ran down her cheeks. She explained to us what it all meant, that this was the day for which she had been so long praying, but fearing that she would never live to see."

Lulu B. White - 22HH

This Houstonian was the NAACP’s leading statewide organizer during the 1940s and 1950s.