Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Girard College

Demonstrators, 1966

Girard College, segregated following protests and court challenges, is central to Philadelphia’s annual observance of Martin Luther King Day. Urban Archives, Temple University Libraries

Efforts to desegregate Girard College increased after World War II as the civil rights movement gained momentum in the South and across the nation. Girard College, by this time surrounded by a predominantly black neighborhood and experiencing declining enrollment, stood as an especially striking example of segregation and exclusion.

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