Woodcut from the American Anti-Slavery Almanac, 1839.
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Image of a school entrance where white children are allowed to enter and a man turns away black children

Credit: Courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia

After the Nat Turner rebellion in 1831, states across the South passed laws to outlaw the education of African Americans. Like other schools founded for African-American students in the early 1800s, Avery College sought to combat the virulent racism that thrived in mid-nineteenth century America. Education, many philanthropists believed, was the surest means to counteract deeply rooted prejudices that held back blacks, immigrants and other "outsiders" in a democratic society.

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