Citizens of Arkadelphia gathered at the Community Family Enrichment Center Monday morning to celebrate the remarkable life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One of the main activities was a quiz bowl where area students showcased their expertise in black history.

What famous African American trailblazer was a scientist, botanist, educator and inventor?
That was only one of the questions posed to the participants of a black history quiz bowl held in Arkadelphia this week.
Citizens of Arkadelphia gathered at the Community Family Enrichment Center Monday morning to celebrate the remarkable life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One of the main activities was a quiz bowl where area students showcased their expertise in black history.
The day kicked off with a breakfast of eggs, bacon and grits, followed by a speech by Sam Weaver, of Henderson State University.
According to the event’s coordinator, Kasey Summerville, Weaver gave a “dynamic” speech that highlighted King’s legacy. Weaver spoke of his own struggles through the Civil Rights movement, and how his personal experience helped shape the person he became.
After Weaver spoke, the attendants broke off into small groups for workshops that discussed King. Summerville indicated that this was an especially enlightening exercise for the children.
After the workshops, an audience gathered to watch Gennesaret Baptist Church face off against the St. Paul AME Church “Saints” in a quiz bowl celebrating black history. Questions were posed by Kyle Jones.
The church’s two youth groups each showcased admirable knowledge, but it was the Saints who got off to an early lead and stayed the course to win the prize.
The reward was a pizza party courtesy of Senator Percy Malone.  Despite the loss, Gennersaret’s youth were surprised when the men of Omega Psi Fi, who hosted the quiz bowl, announced that they would also be invited to the pizza party. The host of the competition said, “Everybody wins!”
The topics for the questions ranged from African American involvement in the American Revolution, to important individuals who impacted the abolitionist movement, to the events that led to the Civil Rights movement and to prominent black entertainers, such as Halle Berry and Dorothy Dandridge.
The Saints will go on to compete in the state-level Black History Quiz Bowl, which they won last year. Previously, they were not able to attend the national level quiz bowl due to cost, but Summerville said they hope to take the state title again and be able to secure the funds to move on to nationals.
Summerville said she felt black history was essential learning for the young people.
“It’s important to know the history, the struggles, in order to move forward,” said Summerville. “If you don’t know your past, you can’t move to your future.”
So who was the famous African American trailblazer who was scientist, botanist, educator and inventor? George Washington Carver.