Release Date: January 13,2015

Memories of Phenix High School Explored at Hampton History Museum Lunchtime Program January 21

Hampton, VA - Former students share their memories of  Phenix High School at the Hampton History Museum’s free “Lunch in Time” program from noon to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 21.

Join Calvin Pearson, founder and president of Project 1619 Inc. and President of the Phenix High School Alumni Association, along with Olivia James Cherry, Phenix High School Class of 1946, and other graduates as they recount their experiences attending Hampton’s last segregated all-black high school.

Located on the campus of what was then known as Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), The Phoenix School offered grammar and high school fields of study to African-American children who were legally barred from attending the Hampton public schools.

Students from Hampton Institute used Phenix as a “Teaching Laboratory” instructing the children. After the United States Supreme Court decision Brown v. The Board of Education in 1954 striking down Virginia’s long standing separate but equal segregation laws, the venerable school would close.

The new George P. Phenix School, still predominantly black, was opened on LaSalle Avenue in 1962. The Hampton School Board did not fully integrate the school until 1967. The school was renamed Pembroke High School in 1968 and closed in 1980.  

The program is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring a bag lunch. Dessert is provided.

Hampton History Museum is located at 120 Old Hampton Lane. There is plenty of free parking in the garage across form the museum. For more information, dial 757/727-1610, visit, or like the Hampton History Museum on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.