$52 Million Lottery Winner Using Money To Rebuild Historic Black Business Community

Posted On : 11/15/2017

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA — You can talk Black consciousness all day long, but until you apply it, what good is it? Here’s a man who’s manifesting his awareness near his community.

His name is Miguel Pilgrim, and he won a $52 million jackpot in 2010. Since then, Pilgram has used his winnings to launch his own real estate company, The Pilgram Group.

He’s been investing in various properties throughout South Florida. However, it seems he’s about to take on a different task.


According to Sun Sentinel, Miguel Pilgrim has begun the journey of reviving Sistrunk Boulevard. This street has a history in downtown Fort Lauderdale as a thriving community for African Americans.

Pilgrim says his mission is about wholly preserving the community.

“I was raised in a similar environment. There is a need, and in my mind, an obligation, to invest there.”

As reports NBC South Florida, the man states that the area used to be a pub for successful Black businessmen.

So far, Miguel Pilgrim has purchased three buildings on the strip. Overall, he plans to build a center for performing arts, jazz and blues lounges, as well as restaurants.


According to Sun Sentinel, community activist and legal specialist Edduard Prince says foreign developers are practically “drooling” to put their monies into Sistrunk Boulevard.

***You know if that were to happen, commercial gentrification would also happen. What little Black culture is left in the area would quickly disappear.***

NBC South Florida quotes Prince as follows.

“The Black residents of the community know that they’re in [a] prime location, they know that they’ve been fighting for years, and developers are drooling over the property.”

The Sun Sentinel mentions that Sistrunk is known as the “historical heartbeat of Fort Lauderdale’s oldest black community.”

However, things changed over the years. Black Enterprise reports on the area’s history as follows.

“Sistrunk Boulevard runs through the city’s black business district. It was named after James Sistrunk, a black physician who helped establish the first African American hospital in Broward County in 1938. During this time, segregation laws banned African Americans who lived west of the tracks from crossing over to the east side after dark. After desegregation, Sistrunk Boulevard gradually declined into an area plagued by gun violence and riddled with drugs and abandoned buildings.”

With this in mind, hopefully, Miguel Pilgrim’s community renovation will have a positive effect on the violence and negative activity in the area.

All in all, what do you think about this? If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.

[Featured Photo via @BlackEnterprise / Twitter]

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