Charleston’s Avery Center
For more than eighty years, Charleston’s Avery Normal institute stood as a hub of African American education and study in the South Carolian Lowcountry. No ther institution compared to Avery’s scope and impact on the black community in Charleston, and Avery’s compelling story and rich history reflect that prominence. The influence of Avery’s teachers and students on society in Charleston and the South is immeasurable; their legacy enduring.
Established in 1865, the Avery Normal Institute educated Charleston’s African American leaders and trained most of the area’s black teachers. Avery flourished and emerged as a leading college preparatory instutite, vital to Charleston’s interracial environment. The list of important contributions from Avery’s teachers and students includes the establishment of the Charleston chapter of the NAACP, a successful petition campaign to secure positions for black teachers in the city’s public schools, the fight for desdegregation in the sixties, and the hospital strike of 1969 – Charleston’s last major civil rights confrontation.