Your students will learn about the important contributions made by celebrated African Americans.

This collection of worksheets offers short reading passages about the lives and work of famous African Americans. Students will learn about the lives of various politicians, inventors, anti-slavery activists, educators, sports figures, and more. Each short essay is accompanied by two answer sheets (multiple choice and short answer), as well as a one page "organizer," in which students can note short facts about the subject. Answer keys are provided for each sheet.

Project idea: Have your students research and report on contemporary African Americans who are also highly influential, such as Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, etc.

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Print African Americans Worksheets

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Booker T. Washington - Reading Passage

Educating a slave was considered a crime at this time. Booker did go to school, not to learn as he would have liked, but to carry the books for one of James Burroughs's daughters.

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Booker T. Washington Graphic Organizer

He was so desperate to learn that at the age of 16, Booker walked 500 miles back to Virginia to enroll in a new school for black students.

Washington - Multiple Choice Questions

Booker went on to teach at Hampton, he then became the principal and leading force behind the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, which he founded in 1881.

Washington - Short Answer Question

In the last season of his life, Booker T. Washington openly attacked the social disease of racism.

Charles H. Houston - Reading Worksheet

The Jim Crow laws of the late 1800's continued to suppress the African-American population under the guise of "separate but equal".

Houston - Graphic Organizer

The laws included segregation in schools, transportation and restaurants where blacks were forced to sit in the back or in specially designated sections.

Houston- Multiple Choice Questions

The laws included segregation in schools, transportation and restaurants where blacks were forced to sit in the back or in specially designated sections.

Houston - Short Answer

Growing up in the rural D.C. area around the turn of the century Charles witnessed firsthand the cruelty and injustice of the Jim Crow laws that had been imposed on the African-American community.

Frederick Douglass - Passage

A true champion to the anti-slavery cause was born a slave but escaped to freedom at an early age. For the remainder of his life, Frederick Douglass courageously fought to defeat racial injustice.

Douglass - Graphic Organizer

Frederick Douglass was fascinated with reading and writing, and practiced these in secret. He would ask white children to teach him to read, and many complied.

Douglass Multiple Choice Questions

Frederick married a free black woman named Anna Murray in 1838, and changed his name from Bailey to Douglass after a character in a book by Sir Walter Scott.

Douglass - Short Answers

Frederick married a free black woman named Anna Murray in 1838, and changed his name from Bailey to Douglass after a character in a book by Sir Walter Scott.

George Washington Carver - Reading Passage

Very few people achieve in a lifetime what George Washington Carver did over the course of his 80 some odd years. While details about his birth are sketchy, a census record from June of 1870 has him listed as 10 years old at the time.

Carver - Graphic Organizer

Because there was no school for children of his race near his home, Carver was forced to move away to southwest Missouri.

Carver - Multiple Choice Questions

Because there was no school for children of his race near his home, Carver was forced to move away to southwest Missouri.

Short Answer

Agricultural achievements aside, Carver was an accomplished artist and musician as well. His paintings garnished honorable mention at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.

Harriet Tubman - Reading Passage

Harriet Tubman Ross is one of the most well known African-American abolitionist figures during the American Civil War.

Tubman Graphic Organizer

Harriet was born a slave in Maryland's Dorchester County around 1820. Her maiden name was Araminta Ross, which she changed after marriage.

Tubman -Multiple Questions

In 1844, she married a free black man named John Tubman. In 1849, she learned she was to be sold, and decided to escape from slavery.

Tubman - Short Answer

Her attempts to free slaves had made her famous by the time she had made her fourth or fifth trip back to the South.

Jackie Robinson - Passage

During his high school and junior college years Robinson excelled in baseball, football, basketball and track, lettering in all four sports and was named the regions MVP in baseball in 1938.

Jackie Robinson- Organizer

In the mid 1940's professional baseball wasn't integrated, so Robinson was relegated to playing in Negro leagues whose teams traveled around the country to play each other.

Robinson - Quick Questions

Robinson did endure brutal attacks for the color of his skin from the fans and opposing players, the media and even his own teammates.

Robinson - Short Answer

After Robinson announced his retirement in January of 1957 he became a prominent spokesman for injustice and civil rights, even testifying before Congress on discrimination issues.

Marcus Garvey - Reading Passage

He is best known for his efforts in the "Back to Africa" movement, which encouraged African-Americans to return to their home roots in Africa.

Marcus Garvey- Organizer

Marcus Garvey was the youngest of 11 siblings. His father loved to read, and passed the love of books on to young Marcus.

Garvey - Short Answer Questions

In 1914, Marcus Garvey founded the UNIA, and began promoting his message of black pride and independence to the world. He called for freedom for black citizens in African nations, and for African-Americans to return to their roots in Africa.

Garvey - Short Answer

He formed the Black Star Line shipping company in 1919, to promote trade between black nations, and to provide transport for passengers wishing to return to Africa.

Prince Hall - Passage

Prince Hall was an enigmatic figure who spent the majority of his adult life as a civil rights defender and abolitionist.

Prince Hall Graphic Organizer

Some have theorized that he was born in Barbados, in the late 1740's while others claim that he arrived in Boston from Africa around 1765. Nothing can be definitively stated about his life prior to 1770.

Hall Multiple Choice Questions

After 21 years of loyal service, slave owner William Hall gave Prince his freedom by certificate of manumission. A certificate of manumission was a legal document that feed an enslaved person, and could be issued by the slave owner.

Hall Short Answer

Hall became a land owner, taxpayer and registered voter. He organized rallies and demonstrations to protest slavery and to promote causes of the African-American community.

Tiger Woods - Reading Worksheet

Tiger's career had a very early start. After noticing his son's interest in hitting golf balls, Earl Woods began teaching his child the basics of the game before his first birthday.

Tiger Organizer

Tiger won five junior championship titles by the age of 15. He quickly followed that achievement by becoming the youngest player in golf history to win the U.S. National Junior Championship.

Tiger Multiple Choice

He has become one of the few professional players to have such command over the field. His domination as a professional golfer is shared by very few and puts him in an elite circle with the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

Tiger Woods - Short Answer

2006 dealt Tiger a huge blow when Earl Woods, his beloved father and coach died of cancer. A grieving Woods failed to make the cut at the U.S. Open that year.

W.E.B. Du Bois - Reading Passage

W.E.B. Du Bois published The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870, a dissertation on the problems of slavery in 1895.

Du Bois - Graphic Organizer

DuBois was one of the founders of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and served as a director for this organization for almost 25 years.

Du Bois - Multiple Choice

In the early 20th century, the NAACP was at the forefront of civil rights protests, and Du Bois was one of its most vocal members.

W.E.B. Short Answer

Du Bois received many honors during his lifetime, and is considered to be the foremost African American intellectual of his period in America.