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33407 “Black” History Memoirs
Vivian Drummond-Black


Hello, my name is Vivian Drummond-Black. I live in Northwood Hills in West Palm Beach, FL.

My family moved from Woodbine, GA to West Palm Beach in 1951. I grew up in Dunbar Village on 15th Street and Tamarind Avenue, West Palm Beach. Later moving to the so-called “White House” on Australian Ave and 7th Street, West Palm Beach.

As a child, this community was always a joy for us to travel through on our way to Riviera Beach as this area was where most Black people lived. Northwood Hills was an affluent neighborhood where our parents worked as housekeepers or babysitters or gardeners. I didn’t desire to live in this neighborhood as I moved away from the county and never planned to return but as time and life situations would have it, I returned in 1969.

After marrying my husband, Rev. James Black, we found our present house and we have been here for over 43 years.  We raised both our children here and they attended neighborhood schools, Northmore Elementary, North Shore High School, and the Middle School of the Arts. We love this area, even though the homes are older, the homes are well-built. My home has an underground bomb shelter. My garage is double brick. Even though the former owner closed the tunnel, for years my backyard was filled with rocks and debris. 

Some community leaders that were significant in my accomplishments were Mr. B. Sayles, Mr. McDonald, Mr. Stubbs, Mr. Orr, and Ms. Williams. These were some of the teachers that encouraged me to want to give back through education.

After graduating high school, I worked for the FBI in Washington D.C.  Later returning home to complete a degree in Education.  I attended Palm Beach Junior High College and Florida Atlantic University.  My degrees are in Elementary and Adult Education.  I taught for over 40 years in Palm Beach County Schools.

I am a member of  Gamma Gamma Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Through this sorority our focus is on serving the community through, March of Dimes, Operation Big Book Bag, Swim Safety for our Youth, Breast Cancer Awareness, Project Cradle Care, St. Jude, and Shoes for kids. These are just some of the sororities’ initiatives.

I currently assist people as needed, such as where to turn for assistance with housing, food, and personal needs.

I am also a member of Mt. Gilead Missionary Baptist Church where I serve on the Deaconess Board and the Missionary Society. My husband serves as associate pastor.

This story is part of the 33407 “Black” History Memoirs, a 2023 Project in celebration of Black History Month. View other stories here.

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