Savvy Blog

Black History Month

Black History Month

Students Put Their
Knowledge to the Test


The Arkansas Black History Quiz Bowl will give students in grades 6-12 the opportunity to put their knowledge of African-American achievement to the test, said organizer Frank Bateman.

Students from all over the state will compete in teams of three at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock on Feb. 16. The top two teams in each division (grades 6-8 and 9-12) will advance to the championship at the Mid-South Black Expo in Little Rock on Feb. 23.

In its eighth year, the quiz bowl began as an educational tool for young people to learn about African-American history, a lot of which is missing from school history books, Bateman said. The event also includes as much Arkansas history as possible.

Bateman came up with the quiz bowl concept while working with the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. He said educating kids and teens about black history is his passion.

To better understand the world around them, young people must learn all history, said Elvon Reed, director of education at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

“As our country becomes more diverse and remains a beacon to many in the world, it is more important than ever that our young people know how far this country has come in being a great land of opportunity,” Reed said. “As we look at citizens in countries like Syria and Egypt, fighting for what we have, it is so important that children understand that their forbearers fought a similar battle.

“Fighting for what is right is not just an African-American ideal, but an American ideal. The story of African-Americans in our state mirrors the story of all Americans.”

In addition to the quiz bowl, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the state’s only African-American history museum, is hosting several family events in February to celebrate Black History Month. These events are free and open to the public.

  • A night of spoken word poetry featuring local talent and a performance by nationally renowned poet Sunni Patterson. Feb. 2 at 6 p.m.
  • Lecture from Dr. Oliver Keith Baker, originally from McGehee, Ark. and currently an endowed university professor of Physics at Hampton University and, jointly, a staff physicist at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. Baker conducts research in the physics of elementary particles and nuclei at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, and at Jefferson Lab in Virginia. Feb.
  • 20 at 10 a.m.
  • The Governor’s Office Black History Month Program celebrates African-American achievement in business. Feb. 21 at 10 a.m.
  • Family Movie Night features a showing of “Remember the Titans” starring Denzel Washington. Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.
  • Dr. Irma Routen presents her Little Rock area children’s choir in concert. Feb. 28 at 10 a.m.

For more information about these events or for a guided tour, contact the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at (501) 683-3593 or visit The deadline to register for the quiz bowl is Feb. 11. Email or call (501) 913-2136 to sign up.

Erica Sweeney is thrilled to be editor of Savvy Kids. She has been a regular contributor to the magazine and loves sharing information with the families of central Arkansas.
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