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Black Americans

Louis Armstrong. Denzel Washington. Oprah Winfrey. Black Americans, all, who’ve left a vital, indelible mark in the world of entertainment.

But that’s just a start. For Black History Month, we offer a board game on important people in the arts. Use this game to test how much you know. Or use it to learn something.

By working your way around the board, you’ll meet fascinating people who’ve made remarkable contributions to literature, music, dance, television and film.

Some questions are about people living today, so current you can see them on TV, in movies or concerts. Others focus on people from the past, their stories found in books or on the Internet.

OK, everybody ready? You need one die and playing pieces for each team (coins for one team, buttons for the other, for example) to mark the squares. The game ends when every square has a marker. It might be helpful to have a nonplayer checking answers.

Here’s how to play:

Divide into two teams and flip a coin to see who goes first.

The first team throws the die and moves the appropriate spaces. If the team answers the question correctly, place a marker on that square (the marker remains throughout the game). If the team gets it wrong, the other team tries to answer that question and mark the square. If no team answers the question correctly, the square remains empty for this round. The second
team then throws the die and proceeds around the board.

(Note: Each turn begins at the open square after the last question asked. For instance: The first team rolls a three and lands on the question about the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. The next team starts counting with the fourth square. Let’s say that team rolls at two. The team’s question will be about the St. Louis dancer.)

Teams continue throwing the die and moving around the board, skipping squares filled with markers. Teams will have to travel around the board more than once to hit every square. The team with the most markers on the board wins.

But if you’ve learned something along the way, how can you lose?

  1. Called “Poet Laureate of Harlem,” he rose to prominence during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.
    A) Richard Wright
    B) Ernest Gaines
    C) James Weldon Johnson
    D) Langston Hughes
  2. This hip-hop innovator who started her career as the lead singer of the Fugees won five Grammy Awards in 1999 for her solo work.
    A) Lauryn Hill
    B) Lil’ Kim
    C) Whitney Houston
    D) Queen Latifah
  3. This playwright and civil rights activist won two Pulitzer Prizes, for “Fences” in 1986 and “The Piano Lesson” in 1990.
    A) Charles Fuller
    B) August Wilson
    C) Alice Childress
    D) Langston Hughes
  4. Since her start in TV news in Nashville, she’s built a media empire that includes a TV show, a magazine and movies.
    A) Cicely Tyson
    B) Ruby Dee
    C) Diahann Carroll
    D) Oprah Winfrey
  5. Born in St. Louis, she danced her way across the United States, then moved to France and became the toast of Paris.
    A) Lena Horne
    B) Melba Moore
    C) Josephine Baker
    D) Leslie Uggams
  6. He photographed for Life magazine, authored about a dozen books and directed several motion pictures, including 1971’s “Shaft.”
    A) Bill Cosby
    B) Gordon Parks
    C) Robert Townsend
    D) Sidney Poitier
  7. The artist and professor is known for her “story quilts,” including “Tar Beach,” which shows a child soaring through the clouds over Harlem.
    A) Faith Ringgold
    B) Betye Saar
    C) Margaret Burroughs
    D) Elizabeth Catlett
  8. Famed comedian who co-starred in “Silver Streak” and “Harlem Nights” and won Grammy Awards for his comedy albums.
    A) Redd Foxx
    B) Chris Rock
    C) Richard Pryor
    D) Eddie Murphy
  9. Which record company, founded by Berry Gordy (right), launched Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas?
    A) Atlantic
    B) Motown
    C) Sun
    D) Chess
  10. She was the first Black performer to win an Oscar for her controversial role as Mammy in the epic film “Gone With the Wind.”
    A) Hattie McDaniel
    B) Cicely Tyson
    C) Eddie Rochester Anderson
    D) Leslie Uggams


ANSWERS: 1-D, 2-A, 3-B, 4-D, 5-C, 6-B, 7-A, 8-C, 9-B, 10-A




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