Abiel Smith School

A two-story brick building with the entrance in the center and two windows on either side.
The Abiel Smith School was the first public school for Black children.


Quick Facts
46 Joy Street
First Black public school in Boston.
Black Heritage Trail Site

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.

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🔊 Listen: Abiel Smith School on the Black Heritage Trail Audio Tour

Abiel Smith School - Boston African American National Historic Site

Abiel Smith School - Museum of African American History

Boston African American National Historic Site

Last updated: March 28, 2023