MAAP | Mapping the African American Past

James McCune Smith: A Model of Resistance



Can intellectual leaders and the spread of their ideas be considered acts of resistance against slavery?

At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define the concepts of oppression and resistance.
  • Describe a portrait of James McCune Smith and discuss whether the image matches their image of a resistor.
  • Identify actions from the life of James McCune Smith’s life that can be considered acts of resistance.
  • Connect a person’s education to their ability to be independent and to resist oppression.
  • Identify and respond to contemporary acts of oppression and resistance.

Essential Questions:

  • What constituted an act of resistance of African Americans against the institution of slavery?
  • Are some acts of resistance more effective than others?
  • In what ways do our personal experiences shape our choices and actions?

Produced by CCNMTL, Chase, Teachers College, and CCI