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African-American Know-How


Peanut butter - it's in millions of lunches each day. George Washington Caver, an African-American scientist, almost singlehandedly made the peanut a leading crop for Southern farmers when he developed this and many other uses for the peanut early in this century.

African-American history is rich with scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs. How many do you know?

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1. Benjamin Banneker was probably the first African-American to be recognized as a gifted scientist. From mathematical calculations and astronomical observations, Banneker developed an almanac of charts that was used by farmers and sailors. Banneker was born in:

A. 1631

B. 1731

C. 1831

2. James Forten refused to install his invention on slave ships. What was it?

A. A seawater desalting system

B. Nonskid decks

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C. Sails for use in rough weather

3. Madame C.J. Walker became America's first self-made woman millionaire for her development and sale of:

A. Digital watches

B. Hair-care products

C. Paper cups

4. In his long career as a draftsman, inventor, and patent consultant, Lewis Latimer worked alongside:

A. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello

B. Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison

C. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas

5. George Grant's contribution to the world of sports is not as a player, but as the inventor of:

A. The automated scoreboard

B. The golf tee

C. The batting cage

6. In 1995, Shirley Jackson was appointed head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Jackson was the first African-American woman to earn a PhD in the field of:

A. Microbiology

B. Environmental studies

C. Physics

7. Elijah McCoy's invention worked so well that when inferior imitations came on the market, people started insisting on 'the real McCoy.' McCoy invented:

A. An automatic lubricating device for trains

B. The oscillating lawn sprinkler

C. The revolver

8. All cars are equipped with a device developed by Richard Spikes:

A. Seat belts

B. Door locks

C. Directional signals

Answers: 1. B; 2. C; 3. B; 4. B; 5. B; 6. C; 7. A; 8. C.

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