The Phillips School

Boston MA 02114

Boston Black Heritage Trail/The Phillips School
Museum of African American History
Written By Museum of African American History

The Museum of African American History inspires all generations to embrace and interpret the authentic stories of New Englanders of African descent, and those who found common cause with them, in their quest for freedom and justice. Through its historic buildings, collections, and programs, the Museum expands cultural understanding and promotes dignity and respect for all.

History of The Phillips School

This architecture is typical of 19th century Boston schoolhouses. Erected in 1824, this school building was open only to white children until 1855; it was the English High School until 1844 and the Phillips Grammar School until 1861. The school was then moved to a larger building at the corner of Anderson and Phillips Streets and renamed the Wendell Phillips School.

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The first of many

Before 1855, black children who lived in the neighborhood had to attend the school on the first floor of the African Meeting House or, after 1834, the Smith School. When segregated schools were abolished by legislative act, the Phillips School became one of Boston's first schools with an interracial student body.

{Cover photo from The English High School Alumni Assoc. via Wikimedia Commons}

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