The Avery Normal Institute was established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association as a school for Black students in Charleston, South Carolina. Early on, the leaders of this institution determined that it should be a “normal” teacher training school, offering “opportunities for young Black men and women to transition out of bondage and racial oppression through classical education and college preparatory courses.”*


An early class photograph of students enrolled at the Avery Normal Institute in Charleston, ca, 1880.

Courtesy of Avery Research Center


*Avery: the Spirit that Would Not Die: