A team of honors students from Northridge Middle School won the second annual Black History Trivia Bowl Saturday at the Levine Museum of the New South, beating out a determined squad from Northeast Middle.

The Northridge team, all 8th graders, was made up of Sha Deja Bracey, Shayla Cuff, Makda Habtom and Kendrick Hudson.

Their teacher, Stacey Swafford, said each of the students is a member of the Junior Honor Society and practiced about 30 minutes a day for about a month. “I knew they had it in them all along,” she said.

The teams were fed a diet of questions that ranged from the easy (Who was the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review? Answer: Barack Obama) to the more difficult (What group taught North Pole explorer Matthew Henson how to survive in the cold? Answer: the Inuit indians).

Asked afterwards what they enjoyed most about the competition, the Northridge team answered loudly and in unison, “Winning!”

Hudson said he learned a lot studying for the trivia bowl, especially about sports, and is now inspired to learn more about African American history.

The runner-up team from Northeast Middle included Kayla Becoats, Adrian Cathcart, Jasmyne Crockett and Jeremy Frye.

The Black History Trivia Bowl was started in 2008 by Janeen Bryant, the Levine museum’s youth and family program manager.

She reminded the audience at the start of the event that black history is part of American history, not something relegated to a single month.

“I wanted to have something that would reflect Black History Month, but something that would be informative and interactive,” she told Qcitymetro.com after the competition. “It’s been a joy for me to watch the students put so much into this effort.”

Seven teams competed for this year’s trophy, up from four in 2008. Bryant said she wants to see even greater participation in 2010. She said she recruited teams by sending fliers to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and to local youth groups.

Other schools that fielded teams included Albemarle Middle School, Carmel Middle School and Victory Christian Center School. Albemarle Middle and Victory Christian each sponsored two teams.

(See photos from the event under the Qcitymetro.com NEWS tab.)

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