In August 1619, what English ship brought the first enslaved Africans to the present day United States?
If you can’t answer those without Googling, some of Madison’s middle schoolers are ahead of you.
The African American History Challenge Bowl is one of the few opportunities for students to learn and explore African-American history and culture. Hosted by the 100 Black Men of Madison, Inc., this event will be held on Saturday, April 1st in Madison Metropolitan School District’s Doyle Administration Building. The objective of the African American History Challenge Bowl is to allow “kids to walk away with a sense of self and a feeling of standing in truth,” says 100 Black Men of Madison board member J.R. Sims.
The 100 Black Men of Madison, an extension of 100 Black Men of America, is a non-profit organization that focuses on the upliftment of youth, especially African-American youth. One of their major initiatives, The African American History Challenge Bowl targets Madison middle schoolers to encourage students to learn more about Black History.
“One of the tenets that came out of 100 Black Men of America was the teaching of African American history. So, they created this game show environment, where kids from all of the chapters come to the annual conference and compete for scholarships and accolades,” Sims tells Madison 365.
The competition requires students to go through an eight-week process to help them learn and absorb all the material for the bowl. The 100 Black Men of America provides a textbook for all participants to reference, while members of the local chapter also provide guidance.
Each school has one team and one coach, and each coach is allowed to structure their lessons how they see fit. There are typically 3-4 students per team and 12 teams district wide. The actual competition is run like a game show of sorts and quizzes the students on various categories pertaining to Black history.
The team with the most points at the local competition wins scholarship money, trophies, and advances to the National African American History Challenge Bowl with all expenses paid. Having won the national competition three times in 1996, 2010, 2012, the 100 Black Men of Madison are excited to see what the youth of Madison bring to the table this year.
The organization centers itself on mentorship, education, health, wellness and more. Outside of the African American History Challenge Bowl, they are also known for their staple 100 Black Men Black-to-School Picnic that takes place every August in Demetral Park on Madison’s east side.
Oh, and by the way … the answers to those original questions are smallpox and the White Lion.