MAAP | Mapping the African American Past

The African Free School - 4th Grade Adaptation


How did the establishment of free schools for African Americans in 18th- and 19th-century New York help transform the lives and identities of its students?

At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to:
  • Evaluate the significance of education and literacy to the larger African American community in New York City
  • Situate the development of schools for African American students within the larger development of public education in New York City
  • Assess how the education received at the African Free School helped create a class of important African American leaders
  • Evaluate the importance of education and literacy to democratic participation
  • Identify some of the literary contributions of James Weldon Johnson and Frances E.W. Harper

Essential Questions:

  • How did the existence of slavery shape African American communal life and cultural expression?
  • How is community defined?
  • How was the African American community defined?

Produced by CCNMTL, Chase, Teachers College, and CCI