Pilgrim Black with Grandson William Bigham III



Dublin Core


Pilgrim Black with Grandson William Bigham III

Alternative Title

Pilgrim Black with Grandson


Sanford (Fla.)
Houses and homes
Porches--Southern States


Pilgrim Black (1905-2002) with his grandson, William Bigham III (1982- ), who is also the son of Patricia Ann Black (1956- ) and her third husband William Bigham, Jr. (1952- ). This photograph was taken around 1983 or 1984 and shows Pilgrim tickling William on the porch of one of the homes built and owned by Black's mother, Maggie Benjamin Black (ca. 1870-ca. 1934), in the 1800s. The Black family migrated from South Carolina during the 19th century. Maggie and her husband, Harry Black (d. 1911), had their wood house built in the 1880s or 1890s at the corner of East 25th Street and South Sanford Avenue. Their house served as a meeting place for many of the elite members of the African-American community in Sanford. At one point, a business had asked to purchase the six acres of land that the Black family owned. Maggie agreed to sell the land under the condition that the lumber could be reused to build houses on East Tenth Street. Maggie built a large home for herself and her children and several three-room houses for rental. She later gave the houses to Pilgrim and two of her grandsons, who made several additions to convert them into homes for their families. This particular house, located at the corner of East Tenth Street and South Bay Avenue, was occupied by Pilgrim and his family.

Pilgrim Black was born in 1905, although some records list 1907 as his birth year. Pilgrim and his wife, Lula Mae Haynes Black (1917-2007), were migrant crew leaders, and thus migrated to Wayne County in Upstate New York in the summers and back to their home in Sanford for the rest of the year. Pilgrim's parents, Harry and Maggiem had several other children: Leckward Black, Mustar Black, Malachi Black, Leatha Black Walker (1889-1976), Margaret Black Jones (1889-1976), and Harriett Black Lawson. In 1911, Harry owned a grocery store at 206 South Sanford Avenue. One day, he came home from work with pneumonia and passed away shortly thereafter. Pilgrim was nine years old when his father passed away. Maggie was the daughter of former slaves, Isaac and Roseanna Benjamin, and the sister of Nathan Benjamin, Pledge Benjamin, Sam Benjamin, Loui Benjamin, Chainey Benjamin, Lara Benjamin, Melvina Benjamin, and Katie Benjamin.

Pilgrim had to quit school at age 11 in order to provide for his mother, originally working in a mill house until he was 18 years old. After declining a management position, he traveled to Wayne County to pick cherries, apples, pears, and other crops. He broke a bone after falling from an apple tree his first year and decided to try farm labor on a potato farm in Red Creek, New York, instead. Don Holdridge, the farmer who owned the land, noted Pilgrim's high rate of productivity and offered him a management position supervising up to thirty workers at once, which he accepted.

While in Sanford, Pilgrim also worked as a foreman in Sanford for Chase & Company for over 30 years. He married Lula in 1937 and they had several children together, including Vivian Louise Black (1940- ); Lula Yvonne Black (1942- ); Charles Samuel Black (1945- ); Pilgrim Black, Jr. (ca.1947- ), and Patricia Ann Black (1956- ).


Original color photograph: Private Collection of Patricia Ann Black.

Date Created

ca. 1983-1984


Black, Patricia Ann

Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original color photograph.

Is Part Of

Patricia Black Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




116 KB


1 color photograph


Still Image


Sanford, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher


Originally owned by Pilgrim Black.
Inherited by Patricia Ann Black in 2002.

Rights Holder

Copyright to the resource is held by Patricia Ann Black and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project


Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

Private Collection of Patricia Ann Black

External Reference

Coles, Robert. Uprooted Children: The Early Life of Migrant Farm Workers. [Pittsburgh]: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1970.
Piore, Michael J. Birds of Passage: Migrant Labor and Industrial Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1 color photograph


“Pilgrim Black with Grandson William Bigham III.” RICHES of Central Florida accessed December 5, 2023, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2683.



Transcribe This Item

  1. PB026.jpg