Last updated: January 8, 2023
Built in 1824 and considered one of the finest schools in Boston, the Phillips School educated only white students until 1855. Black students attended the underfunded and overcrowded Abiel Smith School on nearby Joy Street. In response to this disparity in education, Black activists and their allies launched a long and successful effort to integrate the public schools which occurred in 1855 through an act of the legislature. With the passage of this law, Massachusetts became the first state to prohibit public school segregation and the Phillips School became one of the first integrated schools in the city.
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