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Ervin Johnson, a local African American carpenter, built Hampton Colored School with the help of community volunteers in 1929. The two-room school opened in 1929-30 and served students in grades one through eight.
At first funds were so scarce it was only open from October to March. Eventually, however, donations from the black community allowed it to operate for a full school year.
Hampton School remained the only black school in Hampton until Hampton Colored High School was built in 1947, and the old Hampton Colored School was converted into the lunchroom for the high school.
Two of the school's alumni of the 1930s and 1940s, brothers James F. and Julius C. Fields, achieved national stature as actors, dancers, and choreographers in stage, television, and motion picture productions.
The museum serves as a repository of Black History in Hampton.