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QUEst for Blackness – October 2012 (Answers)

Please submit your answers to the Chair (aalh@omega10thdistrict.org) by the end of the month. Make sure you give your full name and your chapter.

QUEst #1: I was the first African American to complete Navy pilot training and become a Naval aviator. Doing so was one of my greatest challenges–fighting my way to such a place in the armed services at a time when the military was still segregated and most traditionalists felt that there was no place of honor in the Navy for anyone who was not a white male. Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, I grew up poor, the son of a sharecropper. I graduated second in my high school class where I excelled as both an athlete and a scholar.

Despite suggestions that he attend a traditionally “black” university, I applied for and attended Ohio State University, studying engineering. I enlisted in the U. S. Navy Reserves, and joined the Navy proper as an aviation cadet. I became the first African American to earn his Navy wings. Out of 100 candidates to enter the aviation program, I was one of only six men who completed it.

I was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy. I rose quickly to the position of section leader. I was of great help in the Korean conflict, winning an Air Medal and a Korean Service Medal for my 20 daring air combat missions.

I was the first African-American naval officer to lose his life in combat. I was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross for my exceptional courage, airmanship, and devotion to duty.

I flew into danger and risked my life for the cause. What BLACK cause will you risk your life for? Who am I?

ANS: Jesse Leroy Brown

QUEst #2I was a Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of musical group who then went on to have a successful solo career as well as being a trailblazer for the Rastafarian movement. I was born to a father and mother too young to take care of me. I grew up raised by my aunt. I began to sing and learn guitar at an early age, inspired by American radio stations. I was known as the “Father of Reggae Music”. After an illustrious career, I was murdered at my home during a robbery.

BLACK people are the only people that hold each other back! Are you holding a BLACK person back or pushing them forward? Who am I?

ANS: Peter Tosh

QUEst #3I was a Baltimore educator who became an influential figure in the NAACP and the first female president of the civil rights organization.

I received a master’s degree in education and became a teacher and administrator, initially in segregated schools. This helped guide my NAACP activism in the 1930s, and in time, I was considered the matriarch of the Baltimore branch.

I also served as president of the Maryland State Colored Teachers’ Association and was credited with bringing better-quality books to black students and better pay for black teachers.

Many in the school system pegged me as a troublemaker. “They put me down as a smart aleck, but that’s the only way you get attention,” I later said of the administrators who hired me.

Can you proudly wear the title of “troublemaker” for BLACK people? Who am I?

ANS: Enolia Pettigen McMillian

QUEst #4I became the first African-American to enter the United States Naval Academy.

Omega men will you be the first to speak up and confront the white man with the same vigor you use to silence your brother? Who am I?

ANS: John H. Conyers

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