075: Quiz on “Race;” It’s “Beyond Black & White”


It’s a red-hot subject these days and, throughout history, it has been inextricably linked to equally thorny issues related to religion: things like religious doctrines, boundaries and stereotypes. Historian Mark Aronson, who specializes in writing books for young readers, has produced this superb new overview of the issue from the ancient world to modern times.

You can visit Amazon now, if you wish, and order a copy of his book: Race: A History Beyond Black and White

THIS QUIZ honors Aronson’s new book by giving you a feeling for the broad scope of interesting topics you’ll find between these covers. We’ve chosen 10 subjects mentioned in his book. This is a multiple-choice quiz. Select the correct answer for each question.

Try to answer all 10 questions—then scroll down to read the answers below.

10 Question Quiz on Race in America Beyond Black and White



1.) Who was the Rev. Howard Thurman (shown at left)?
A. A pioneer in the American interfaith movement.
B. A colleague of Mahatma Gandhi.
C. Someone who influenced the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
D. All of the above.

2.) Who was Memnon?
A. An African king from Ethiopia.
B. A hero of the Trojan War, killed by Achilles.
C. A villain in the “Scorpion King” movie and not a hero at all.
D. All of the above.

3.) Who were the Harlem Hellfighters?
A. The first African-American regiment in World War I.
B. A basketball team who toured the world in the 1930s.
C. A Hollywood song-and-dance team in the late 1940s.
D. All of the above.

4.) Who gets the credit for coming up with the first major group of myths about Amazons?
A. The ancient Greeks.
B. Sir Walter Raleigh.
C. DC Comics in the Wonder Woman series.
D. An online bookstore chain.



5.) Who is famous for calling slavery “a cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty”?
A. Thomas Jefferson.
B. John Brown.
C. Abraham Lincoln.
D. John F. Kennedy.

6.) In the mid-1800s in the U.S., which ethnic group wound up facing the strongest civil rights struggles, because of widespread attempts to transfer many of the hateful attitudes from anti-black racism to their growing numbers?
A. Irish.
B. Mexicans.
C. Asians.

7.) Who among the following famous people made a strong point of opposing the Eugenics movement, which tried to scientifically improve the human race by, among other things, supporting laws to sterilize adults with certain disabilities? Who publicly opposed this idea?
A. Woodrow Wilson
B. H.G. Wells
C. George Bernard Shaw
D. G.K. Chesterton

8.) Who is the “Mother of Exiles”?
A. Mother Teresa.
B. The Statue of Liberty.
C. The City of Paris.
D. Jazz music.

9.) Bhagat Singh Thind was defeated in a major court case in which he tried to knock down barriers preventing Indian-Americans from obtaining U.S. citizenship. One of his major claims for public respect was:
A. He served nobly in World War I.
B. He starred in a series of Army recruiting films in Hollywood.
C. He was on the medical team that found a cure for tuberculosis.
D. He was Abraham Lincoln’s bodyguard for his first four years in office.

10.) Which children’s book author was noted for celebrating cultural diversity?
A. Dr. Seuss, who wrote “Cat in the Hat” and other books.
B. Tomi Ungerer, who wrote “Crictor” about a boa constrictor and other stories.
C. Don Freeman, who wrote about “Corduroy” the bear and other stories.
D. All of the above.

ANSWERS to Trivia Quiz on Race in America Beyond Black and White




1.) D. Howard Thurman was all of these things and more. (His story appears in our book http://www.InterfaithHeroes.info)

2.) D. All of the above, believe it or not. He fought for Troy in the war, and was considered a great hero of the conflict. His name echoed into modern history, but not in a noble way. As further evidence of how incredibly poor Hollywood’s historical memory is these days, the villain Memnon in “Scorpion King” is not even African. He’s depicted by a Scottish actor in the movie.

3.) A. No, in this case, the answer is not “all of the above”. The Hellfighters were the 369th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Black Rattlers. (That’s a photo of the unit in the upper right.)

4.) A. The ancient Greeks explored the mythic possibilities extensively, then Romans and others expanded on the concept. Aronson’s book points out that Sir Walter Raleigh made a claim in the 16th Century that he had spotted Amazons in North America.

5.) A. The line is famous because it was in Jefferson’s first draft of the Declaration of Independence, but later it was taken out under loud objections by Southern delegates. Jefferson himself was in deep personal conflict over the issue, since he owned slaves.

6.) A. Irish. Aronson writes at length and includes some historical illustrations from this struggle in the 1800s.

7.) D. It was the Catholic writer G.K. Chesterton, who specialized in writing theology as well as mystery stories throughout his career. Chesterton actually published a book opposed to the theory of Eugenics. The other three famous men in our list, A through C, thought that Eugenics appeared to be a good idea. Of course, none of them had seen what a German political movement would do with the concept in the 1930s and 1940s.

8.) B. It’s part of the Emma Lazarus poem, “The New Colossus.”

9.) A. Thind was a noted Sikh scholar, writer and lecturer. He pointed to his service in World War I as proof of his patriotism. In fact, he had reached the rank of sergeant. After his defeat in the courts, he continued his work across the U.S., however, as a pioneering advocate of interfaith understanding.

10.) D. These three and many other children’s authors and illustrators played a major role in opening up attitudes of American families toward people who might, at first glance, seem dangerously different.

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