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QUEst for Blackness – February 2013 (Answers)

Please submit your answers to the Chair ( by the end of the month.  Make sure you give your full name and your chapter.

QUEst #1: I played an influential role in identifying, nurturing, and publishing the works of young black artists during the New Negro Movement. My philosophy served as a strong motivating force in keeping the energy and passion of the Movement at the forefront.

I believed that the profound changes in the American Negro had to do with the freeing of himself from the fictions of his past and the rediscovery of himself. He had to put away the protective coloring of the mimicking minstrel and find himself as he really was. And thus the new militancy was a self-assertion as well as an assertion of the validity of the race.

I could not promise that the race would win the long-desired end of material progress, but the enrichment of life through art and letters would be an ample achievement. What is more, the Negro would be a people rather than a problem.

Has Omega become the problem or the solution for Black people? Prove it!

Who am I?

ANS: Alaine Leroy Locke

QUEst #2:  I was orphaned at five years old and hired out as a domestic. I wrote articles for THE LIBERATOR, an abolitionist newspaper, published anti-slavery tracts, and spoke publicly.

I was largely self-taught and stressed the importance of morality and self-improvement to my audiences. In addition to religion, I insisted that blacks pursue education. When “knowledge would begin to flow,” I wrote, “the chains of slavery and ignorance would melt like wax before flames.” I went on to become a public school teacher in New York and the founder of schools in Baltimore and D.C. My dedication to fighting black oppression through teaching, writing, and speaking was relentless.

Why is ignorance and mediocrity more important than an education to Omega Men?

Who am I?

ANS: Maria W. Stewart

QUEst #3:  I was appointed to the new position of Senior Specialist in the Education of Negroes in the U.S. Office of Education. I remained in the post when the next president was elected and joined the “Black Cabinet.” In that post I sought to raise national awareness about the disparities in education between blacks and whites, especially in the rural South. I traveled extensively, surveying and documenting the funding failures of public schools. During my tenure, my office published numerous articles, bulletins, and pamphlets on a variety of topics relating to African American education, from “The Education of Negro Teachers” to “Secondary Education for Negroes.” My office also created “Freedom Peoples,” a nine-part radio series broadcast on NBC that showcased African American history and achievements. Additionally, I convened conferences and implemented committees on these matters.

In 1946 I was named director of the Project for Literacy Education. I measured adult illiteracy in the population, helped to create materials suitable for adult literacy education, and trained adult literacy teachers.

Back then we were denied an education, today we throw it away. What is Omega doing to stop the madness? Who am I?

ANS: Ambrose Caliver

QUEst #4:  I was orphaned at twelve years of age. For ten years I followed the sea. Then, encouraged by a shipmate, I entered school in Massachusetts. I passed every one of the hundreds of students in learning, accuracy, and scholarship. I accomplished as much in one quarter as the average student did in two, mastering both mathematical and linguistic requirements.

In 1870, I became a teacher in Claflin University, the first Black to be regularly employed by the Freedmen’s Aid Society in education. I stopped teaching long enough to take a full course at Atlanta University and in 1876 I joined the faculty of what is now Clark University. For seven years I served as president of Clark where the school grew both in numbers and strength. I was the first secretary of the Boards of Trustees of Gammon Theological Seminary and of Clark University. For twenty-nine years I was superintendent of the Sunday school at Clark, and had the reputation of never being late during that period. I was the first individual to receive the degree of Doctor of Letters from Atlanta University.

Excuses didn’t stop me, why do they stop the Ques? Who am I?

ANS: William H. Crogman


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