During Monday night’s Jeopardy broadcast, the first Semifinal match of the college tournament, the competitors made quick work of all of the board’s categories except one.

The participants—Whitney Thompson, a junior at the University of Oklahoma; Tucker Pope, a junior at Texas A&M University; and Laurie Beckoff, a sophomore at the University of Chicago—breezed through a number of questions during the second round on topics ranging from “Weather Verbs” and “Kiwi Fauna,” to “World Cinema Showcase,” and “Talk Nerdy to Me,” but were hesitant when it came to the topic of “African American History.”

As a matter of fact, the trio left the Black History category until the very end, because…save the best for last?

Let’s be clear: The African American history questions were not difficult at all. One read, “In August of 2013, bells rang out across the country to mark the 50th anniversary of his ‘I Have A Dream Speech,’” and another said, “It’s showtime at this Harlem theater that began hosting its amateur night in 1934.”

Yup. Seriously.

While the entire scene made for slightly uncomfortable, yet awkwardly hilarious viewing, the contestants answered three of the five questions correct, only missing the ones pertaining the 1st Rhode Island Regiment and Scottsboro Boys. Yay?

Take a look (skip to the 15:56 mark):

  • Kattified

    I remember in Elementary and Junior High school (both multi-cultural schools) that all grades would spend all of February learning about Black American History. We touched on slavery, but spent most of the month focused on the contributions and positive changes that Blacks made. We even had one of the Little Rock Nine speak to us about her life and what it was like to go through what she did. I think that too much of Black History is spent on slavery to the point that most people assume that that is all Black American History is about. I think more schools should focus more on the changes and contributions that were made than just on slavery.

    • Q

      Thank you! My sentiments exactly.Focusing on more positive, and recent!, contributions we’ve made in the US and around the world could do wonders for challenging ignorance. No matter what race/color anyone is, they can be ignorant of their true history in it’s entirety. We’ve been stripped of our culture for centuries, and today’s school systems do barely enough to satisfy the claim that some black history is taught in History classes. To an extent, I can’t blame/shame black people for not knowing their history. We must continue demanding more effort of schools or other educational outlets(if not ourselves, and a personal desire for knowledge) or they truly will ignore us, and our history, all together.

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