Last updated: March 28, 2023
The Abiel Smith School opened in 1835, the first building erected for the sole purpose of housing a Black public school. Teachers taught primary and grammar school children who became accomplished poets and scholars, influential activists, community leaders and successful business owners. The school also housed adult evening classes on subjects such as writing, arithmetic and penmanship. Overcrowded and underfunded, the Smith School also provided a focal point in the Black community's struggle for equal school rights in 1800s Boston.