Long Walks and Longer Waits: Educational Injustice in Boston Schools

Author(s): Jennifer McCann; Nicole Estey Walsh

Year: 2018


The Abiel Smith School, located on Boston’s historic Beacon Hill, was one of the oldest all-Black schools in the country and operated from 1834 to 1855. According to documentary evidence, the school was underfunded, mismanaged, and often at the center of debates about segregation. The Northeast Museum Services Center, in partnership with the Boston City Archaeology Program, is rehousing and researching the artifacts associated with the school that were excavated in the 1990s. The artifacts tell the story of the early educational system for Black children in Boston and can be used to discuss systemic racism within the contemporary educational system including redlining laws, busing, public school frameworks, and even personal appearance. Using artifacts and primary source documents, connections can be made throughout different periods of Boston's history and can serve as the focal point for a modern debate on systemic racism in local schools and communities.  

Cite this Record

Long Walks and Longer Waits: Educational Injustice in Boston Schools. Jennifer McCann, Nicole Estey Walsh. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441793)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 468