Search

      Buy tickets

      Exhibition

      Let None Be Excluded: The Origins of Equal School Rights in Salem

      On view April 23, 2022 to April 28, 2024

      Today's hours:

      10 am–5 pm

      Monday

      10 am–5 pm

      Tuesday

      Closed

      Wednesday

      Closed

      Thursday

      10 am–5 pm

      Friday

      10 am–5 pm

      Saturday

      10 am–5 pm

      Sunday

      10 am–5 pm

      Monday

      10 am–5 pm

      Tuesday

      Closed

      Wednesday

      Closed

      Thursday

      10 am–5 pm

      Friday

      10 am–5 pm

      Saturday

      10 am–5 pm

      Sunday

      10 am–5 pm

      In the 19th century, Salem residents celebrated the city’s early public school system for welcoming and educating all children.

      Despite the system’s success, the Salem school committee decided in 1834 to establish separate schools for Black children.

      This sudden decision and its implementation angered Black residents who launched a near-decade long struggle for the educational rights of their children. Their valiant efforts convinced the Salem school committee to abolish racially separate public schools in 1844. Salem was one of the first US municipalities to do so. A decade later, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would become the first state to pass a law forbidding school committees from classifying students by race.

      On view in the James Duncan Phillips Trust Gallery, this exhibition features documents that capture the impassioned activism of young Black leaders, including Sarah Parker Remond and Robert Morris. These youth, as agents in their own education, sparked the national equal school rights movement by tethering education rights to democracy and racial equality. These Salem voices and their spirited words and actions changed the course of our schools and our nation.

      Let None Be Excluded: The Origins of Equal School Rights in Salem is organized by the Peabody Essex Museum. The exhibition is made possible by the generosity of Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation. Additional support was provided by individuals who support the Exhibition Incubation Fund: Jennifer and Andrew Borggaard, James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes, Kate and Ford O'Neil, and Henry and Callie Brauer. We also recognize the generosity of the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.

      Follow along on social media using #PEMLetNone

      TOP IMAGES: The American Anti-Slavery Society, The American Anti-Slavery Almanac, for 1839, (detail). Courtesy of Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Rowley, MA. Unknown artist. Robert Morris, mid 19th century photograph. © Social Law Library, Boston, MA. Photographer in the United States. Sarah Parker Remond, about 1865. Albumen print. Gift of Miss Cecelia R. Babcock. Phillips Library, Salem Streets Collection, PH322. Courtesy Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Read more

      Hide

      A look inside the gallery. Photos by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      A look inside the gallery. Photos by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      A look inside the gallery. Photos by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      A look inside the gallery. Photos by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Plan of the City of Salem, 1836, in The Salem Directory, and City Register (detail), 1837. Phillips Library, gift of Henry Wheatland, F74.S1 S2M.

      Plan of the City of Salem, 1836, in The Salem Directory, and City Register (detail), 1837. Phillips Library, gift of Henry Wheatland, F74.S1 S2M.

      A look inside the gallery. Photos by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      A look inside the gallery. Photos by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Keep exploring

      Draw Me Ishmael: The Book Arts of Moby Dick

      Exhibition

      Draw Me Ishmael: The Book Arts of Moby Dick

      Opens June 1, 2024

      Exhibition

      Draw Me Ishmael: The Book Arts of Moby Dick

      Opens June 1, 2024

      On This Ground: Being and Belonging in America

      Exhibition

      On This Ground: Being and Belonging in America

      Ongoing

      Exhibition

      On This Ground: Being and Belonging in America

      Ongoing

      As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic

      Past Exhibition

      As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic

      June 17 to December 31, 2023

      Past Exhibition

      As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic

      June 17 to December 31, 2023

      Ongoing effort seeks to identify and correct harmful terms in PEM’s library catalog

      Blog

      Ongoing effort seeks to identify and correct harmful terms in PEM’s library catalog

      5 min read

      Blog

      Ongoing effort seeks to identify and correct harmful terms in PEM’s library catalog

      5 min read

      Graduate students dig into the papers of historic youth activists to tell the story of equal school rights in Salem

      Blog

      Graduate students dig into the papers of historic youth activists to tell the story of equal school rights in Salem

      7 Min read

      Blog

      Graduate students dig into the papers of historic youth activists to tell the story of equal school rights in Salem

      7 Min read

      PEM spotlights the ongoing fight for educational equality with its new exhibition

      Press Release

      PEM spotlights the ongoing fight for educational equality with its new exhibition

      Press Release

      PEM spotlights the ongoing fight for educational equality with its new exhibition