Calvin Pearson was born in Newport News on June 2, 1951 but mostly grew up in Hampton. Pearson attended Greenbriar Elementary, George Wythe Jr. High, and George P. Phenix High School, where he graduated in 1969. For Pearson’s higher education, he studied at Thomas Nelson Community College, Hampton Institute, and the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). Pearson began work at 13, when his father became terminally ill. After graduating from UDC, Pearson was a draftsman for the city of Hampton and then rose to the position of Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, from which Pearson retired in 2005 after 30 years of service. Regarding Pearson’s volunteer experience, Pearson is currently the founder and president of Project 1619 Inc., which is a non-profit organization in Hampton that tells the story of the first enslaved Africans brought to present-day Fort Monroe in 1619. For the past 45 years, this group has aimed to correct a false narrative. He has also served as the president of the George P. Phenix Alumni Association since 2007 and president of the Pembroke High School Class of 1969 Alumni since 1979. Other volunteering Pearson currently does includes being a member of the Hampton Roads Chapter of AAHGS (Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society), being a board commissioner for the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF), and a board member of the Hampton University Boosters Club.
-Interview and biographical information recorded in 2021.