Skip to Main Content

Lee Yick: Equal Justice Under Law

45 min

Walk-In-The-Shoes Questions
As you read, imagine you are the protagonist.

  • What challenges are you facing?
  • What fears or concerns might you have?
  • What may prevent you from acting in the way you ought?

Observation Questions

  • What was Lee Yick’s role in the civil rights movement? By fighting for justice decades before the nation’s focus on racial equality in the 1950s, how was Yick’s effort important?
  • What was Lee Yick’s purpose for challenging San Francisco’s unequally enforced city ordinance?
  • Why did Yick think it was important to challenge the system?

Discussion Questions
Discuss the following questions with your students.

  • What is the historical context of the narrative?
  • What historical circumstances presented a challenge to the protagonist?
  • How and why did the individual exhibit a moral and/or civic virtue in facing and overcoming the challenge?
  • How did the exercise of the virtue benefit civil society?
  • How might exercise of the virtue benefit the protagonist?
  • What might the exercise of the virtue cost the protagonist?
  • Would you react the same under similar circumstances? Why or why not?
  • How can you act similarly in your own life? What obstacles must you overcome in order to do so?
  • Students will evaluate the injustices resulting from discriminatory laws and their enforcement in the United States.
  • Students will analyze an 1886 Supreme Court decision that supported civil rights against the discriminatory enforcement of law.
  • Students will analyze methods by which they can promote justice in their own lives.
  • Students will apply their knowledge of justice to their own lives.

Student Handouts