One of the greatest leaders of 20th-century America, Martin Luther King Jr., challenged the United States to uphold the promise of the Declaration of Independence that all men be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
During his 13 years leading the civil rights movement, King held true to that American promise and espoused Christian nonviolent resistance to combat racism.
The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio, allows you to test your knowledge of Dr. King and the modern civil rights movement as we observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 16.
1. Who was the first advocate of nonviolent resistance in the modern civil rights movement?
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A. Bayard Rustin
B. Martin Luther King Jr.
C. Bob Moses
D. Rosa Parks
2. After which major civil rights victory did King rise as a leader of the civil rights movement?
A. Brown v. Board of Education
B. Integration of Little Rock High School
C. Montgomery Bus Boycott
D. Civil Rights Act of 1964
3. Which civil rights organization did King help found and lead?
A. NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
B. CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
C. SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee)
D. SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference)
4. Whose criticism was King responding to in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”?
A. Birmingham’s businessmen
B. Local religious leaders
C. White, moderate liberals
D. Black activists
5. Of the events below, at which one was King not present?
A. Sit-in at a Woolworth’s counter in Greensboro, N.C.
B. The Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, Ala.
C. The March on Washington
D. March across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.
6. What do Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and King have in common?
A. Followers of the Nation of Islam
B. Advocates of nonviolent resistance
C. Belonged to the Communist Party
D. Protested America’s involvement in the Vietnam War
7. King marched alongside which man in the “March Against Fear” when he coined the term “Black Power!”?
A. Huey Newton
B. Stokely Carmichael
C. Bobby Seale
D. Malcolm X
8. Where was King assassinated?
D. Jackson, Miss.
9. Which president signed the legislation establishing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday?
A. Ronald Reagan
B. Jimmy Carter
C. Bill Clinton
D. George H.W. Bush
10. Which other civil rights advocate also was slain in 1968?
A. Robert Kennedy
B. Malcolm X
C. Medgar Evers
D. Huey Newton
1-A, 2-C, 3-D, 4-B, 5-A, 6-D, 7-B, 8-C, 9-A, 10-A
Emily Hess teaches history at Ashland (Ohio) University, where she teaches courses focused on 19th- and 20th-century African American history, the Reconstruction era and the Civil Rights Movement. She wrote this for InsideSources.com.