Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #9

Couple: Portia Washington and William Pittman

Date of Wedding:  October 31, 1907

Place: Tuskegee Institute Chapel (Tuskegee, Alabama)

Officiant: Tuskegee Chaplain John W. Whittaker

Fun facts

Tuskegee's electrical division hung lights on every tree, bush, and shrub on the campus. 

The wedding reception was held at The Oaks, Booker T. Washington’s home on the campus of Tuskegee Institute.

The large crowd assembled for the wedding had "elaborately molded ice cream" to go along with the wedding cake.

Booker T. Washington, the bride’s father, gave his daughter a Steinway piano as a wedding present.

The couple had a long-distance relationship at times because their courtship blossomed while Portia was in Berlin pursuing piano studies.  William Pittman won her affections through passionate letters.

The groom was the first African American man to graduate from Drexel and the first African American architect to secure a federal commission

The couple separated in 1928 but never formally divorced.