March 22 — If a famous director wanted to make a movie about one of your female ancestors who would it be? What actress would you cast in the role and why?
If a famous director wanted to make a movie of one of my ancestor’s it would be about the Cully family and it would be centered around my grandmother Agnes and my mother Betty residing in Sugar Hill. The many lives of the other family members would be weaved through the life of Agnes. There would be many scenes portrayed in her sewing room in her apartment where many stories were told. The main years of the movie would be 1923-1952.
I would like to see Cicely Tyson play my grandmother as she is a star actress, and Angela Bassett would play my mother because of her elegance. My mother was very elegant. The name would either be “The Socialite” or “Sugar”
Marian Anderson and her Fashion Designer Agnes Cully Peters
Photo of my mother Betty Mae Peters in Danbury, Connecticut at Marian Anderson’s home in 1942. Marian’s home was called Marianna Farm. Betty was on the Pier of the pool and you can see Marian Anderson’s Studio in the background. Betty was 16 years old at the time.
This is the first trip I took to dig a little deeper into the life of my mother and her parents. The trip was life-changing for me. Here is a slide show presentation that I did for research group, “The African American Genealogical Research Group.” It is very long, but I hope you enjoy it.
Christmas parties was not on my agenda growing up. We always had dinner parties in our home, and I do not remember going anywhere in particular to celebrate the holidays. My mother and father however went to many through the years.
I found this photo that was taken in the 1950’s in New York of my Mother, Grandmother and her friends.
Christmas Party Agnes Cully Peters (Center on couch) Betty Mae Peters (on R-end of couch-poka dot dress
I have other pictures of this day when my mother and her childhood friends attended the NY Worlds Fair during Negro Week in 1940. The only one of her friends that I knew very well growing up was Pat. She remained friends until my mother’s death in 2004.
Betty Peters @ New York Worlds Fair Negro Week in 1940 Flushing Meadows, NY (L to R) Louis, Jacinth, Nickie, Betty, Pat
My mother worked for the Department of Welfare in Los Angeles as a Social worker. She was hired June 24, 1955. Betty shared with me that working as a social worker was one of the most depressing jobs she ever held. She had to make home visits and she said that many of the apartments had roaches crawling on the floors, the rooms were unkempt, and many of the families were living under severe poverty.
While my mother was working as a social worker, she was taking classes at Los Angeles State College to earn her teaching credential.
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