Calvin Pearson, a native of Hampton, Virginia is Founder and President of Project 1619 Inc. a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the arrival of the first Africans in America to be brought ashore on English occupied territory at Point Comfort, today’s Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. The organization is also raising funds to erect a National Monument at Fort Monroe by 2019 in honor of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans. Mr. Pearson has led a grassroots effort for the past twenty years to tell the true story of the first Africans that had been purposely falsified since 1619. He organizes an Annual African Landing Commemoration Day event in Hampton each year that includes a symposium, concerts and prayer service. Mr. Pearson is also chairman of the National Juneteenth Grassroots Enslavement Legacy Commission. He has authored many magazine articles and papers on the subject and has been the driving force to get this story told. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and travels around the country sharing his knowledge about what he calls the biggest transgression and atrocity that mankind has ever committed against another ethnic group.
He attended Hampton University and the University of the District of Columbia and has a degree in Architectural Engineering Technology. He spent the majority of his career in Public Administration. As a lifelong resident of Hampton, and knowing that the truth was not being told, he has always had a desire to research genealogy and the history of the first Africans in Colonial America.
Project 1619 Contributions
1. Published an article in the Pepperbird Magazine detailing the misconceptions of the landing of the first Africans at Point Comfort.
2. In 2010 co-authored a book “Dispelling the Myth of Jamestown".
3. Feature articles have been published in The Daily Press and numerous newspapers around the country.
4. Featured speaker at symposium in 2011 – “Dispelling the Myth of Jamestown”.
5. Speaker at NSU 2012 symposium “1619 – The Making of America”.
6. Featured speaker in 2012 at Global Slavery Remembrance Day, Dallas, TX.
7. Created African Landing Commemoration Day in Hampton, an annual event.
8. Authored the proclamation approved by the Virginia General Assembly recognizing that the first Africans in Colonial America came ashore at Point Comfort.
9. Authored the Resolution by the City of Hampton Designating August 20th as African Landing Day in the City of Hampton.
10. Awarded the first ever VIP and Heritage and Preservation Award from the African Diaspora Tourism for promoting the history of the first Africans and encouraging travel to Hampton.
11. Persistently notifies historians, authors and educators around the country the truth about the arrival of the first Africans.
12. Honored as Outstanding Citizen of the Year in September 2013 by the Hampton Citizens Unity Commission.
13. Speaker and presenter at the "1619 Making of America" symposium in September 2013 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center and Norfolk State University.
14. Was successful in 2015 to get the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to approve the removal and editing of Highway Markers at Fort Monroe and Jamestown to reflect that the 20 and odd Africans arrived first at Point Comfort in 1619, today's Fort Monroe. Some of the Africans were then transported to present day Surry County, Jamestown, and Charles City.
15. Chair, National Juneteenth Grass Roots Enslavement Legacy Commission.
On September 12, 2013, Calvin Pearson, Founder of Project 1619 Inc. was honored by the City of Hampton Citizens Unity Commission as Outstanding Citizen of the Year. He was honored for dispelling the myth of Jamestown and proving that the first Africans brought to English North American were brought ashore at Point Comfort, today's Fort Monroe in Hampton. He was also honored for his many years of service promoting unity and diversity in the city.
Calvin Pearson, Project 1619 Inc. Founder Presented with International Award.
On April 27, 2012 in Atlanta, GA, Calvin Pearson pictured above on left with Royal Majesty Oba Bernard Akinrimisi of Nigeria was presented with the VIP Preservation and Heritage award by the African Tourism Diaspora for his work in promoting the arrival of the first Africans in English North America in 1619 at Point Comfort, today's Fort Monroe in Hampton, VA. Mr. Pearson's work has helped to dispel the myth that the first Africans arrived at Jamestown. His work has enabled scholars around the world to understand the capture and arrival of the first enslaved Africans brought to America.