Black Jeopardy touches on history, hip hop and cultural music

J’Mari HughesCopy Editor

Comedian Kenan Thompson holds the record for the longest run on Saturday Night Live, Tupac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, and Hank Aaron finished his career with 755 home runs, the highest total in Major League History — these were some of the trivia an auditorium of college students screamed out the answers to in a competitive game of Black Jeopardy.

Wednesday, Feb. 12, Zeta Phi Beta sorority and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity gathered students from Southern, Quinnipiac University, Yale and University of New Haven for a Black Jeopardy match, testing their knowledge on African American fun facts. Players broke into the Stallions, the Big Steppers, Drivin’ da Boat and THAT Team, and enthusiastically participated in the game, which could rambunctiously be heard all throughout Engleman Hall.

“It’s our version of Black Jeopardy, [we’re doing], like, black history, black pop culture black music — everything black,” said social work major Jurea McIntosh, a sophomore and secretary of Psi Omicron chapter of Zeta Phi Beta. “As a chapter, we collectively decided to do something fun, especially since February is Black History Month.”

McIntosh said Zeta Phi Beta is one of The Divine Nine, the nine historically black fraternities and sororities. It was founded in 1920 at Howard University, which was one of the Jeopardy questions.

Trivia — which was categorized by inventions, sports, history, pop culture, music and Greek life — asked for the title of 50 Cent’s debut album, the name of the fictitious African country set in Black Panther and the first African American to receive a PhD from Harvard University. Whether Googling the answers or not, at no point was a group without an answer.

“I feel like this is a fun way to get the campus involved and learning about history” said Dan Correia, a senior at Quinnipiac and member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

“There’s definitely a bunch of questions on there that I didn’t know before we made the event, but it’s a fun way to get involved and get to know people a little bit more.”

Nursing major Vanesa Vumback, a sophomore said the event brought together not only Southern students, but students from off campus as well. She said it raised awareness of her, and other members’ culture, and allowed non-members to get to know the sorority and fraternity. Seeing new faces and students enjoying their time was something she said she looked forward to.

“I feel like it’s good to educate ourselves on not only American history, but overall history of every culture and just to be aware of other people’s lives and their ancestry, and how it affected everyone today,” said Vumback.

Bernard Grant, a senior at UNH said growing up, he learned general American history in school, but not specifically black history. Now, he said, at this age he can find and figure out history for himself.

George Washington Carver, Macon Bolling Allen and Jackie Robinson were some of the famous black names mentioned throughout the game. Other questions asked students to finish the lyrics to rap songs and identify whatever black celebrity was pictured.

“It’s kinda giving them knowledge [about black history],” said psychology major Katia Bagwell, a senior and president of Psi Omicron Zeta Phi Beta. “People usually don’t know about black history unless they take black history classes, especially in college so just to do something to get people more knowledgeable about their own history is important.”

Other questions asked ranged from topics such as Katherine G. Johnson, Syleena Johnson and Prince to the NAACP, Phi Beta Sigma and the NHL. To McIntosh, it was a fun way to relax, but to also become educated. “Know where you came from,” Grant said, “know your history.”

Photo Credit: Roma Rositani


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