Tag Archive | Peters Surname

Fearless Females Blog Post: March 26-Education

Welcome to my Women’s History Month posts.  Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist came up with some wonderful prompts for March, and I have been participating.  I have missed quite a few days but will be moving backwards to catch up.

March 26 — What education did your mother receive? Your grandmothers? Great-grandmothers? Note any advanced degrees or special achievements.

My mother Betty Mae Peters was an excellent student.  She earned a dual bachelors degree in Journalism & English from New York University in 1950.  My mother stated that she did not attend her graduation, and had them mail her degree.  When my mother relocated to Los Angeles in 1953, she attended Pepperdine University to earn her Masters degree in Education.

I believe that my mother would be the first in her family, as a woman to earn a degree from any University.

 

Betty Mae Peters in the New York University School Album of 1950. She resided at 460 West 147th Street, New York, N.Y. She was in the Spanish Club; Dramatic Society; Paragon Society; and National Association for Advancement of Colored People.

 

Fearless Females Blog Post: March 18 – Shining Star

March 18 — Shining star: Did you have a female ancestor who had a special talent? Artist, singer, actress, athlete, seamstress, or other? Describe.

So many of my ancestors on my maternal side were talented.  I can’t just pick one.

Hannah Cully Brown: (Jazz Pianist, Poet)- My Great Aunt

Nora Ann Cully: (Jazz Singer, Pianist) My Great Aunt

Nora Ann Gilliam-Cully: (Singer and Pianist) My Great Grandmother

Zara Cully Brown: (Actress, pianist and Elocutionist) My Great Aunt

Zara Gale Buggs-Taylor: Singer (Operatic genre)  Could sing in all genre’s.  She sang for Marian Anderson as a youth. My 1st cousin 1x removed

Agnes Mae Cully-Peters: (Fashion Designer, Pianist) My Grandmother

Mary Gale Brown-Buggs (Dancer) My first cousin

Betty Mae Peters Porter (Singer, Dancer, Acting, and model) My mother

They all performed in church and at community events.  Most family members knew how to play the piano as it was a requirement.

 

Fearless Females Blog Post – March 15: Six-Word Memoir Tribute

I am on my fifteenth day celebrating Women’s History Month and taking advantage of the Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

I have to thank Lisa Alzo of the Accidental Genealogist blog for presenting such an awesome idea.

March 15 — Write a six-word memoir tribute to one of your female ancestors.

Here are my  Ancestors I am highlighting this day with the six-word memoir.
Betty Mae Peters Porter (My Mother): Educator. Great Humor. Classy Woman. Beautiful.
Agnes Mae Cully Peters (Maternal Grandmother) New York Fashion Designer, Cancer Survivor
Helen Bunn Thompson (Paternal Grandmother) Spiritual. Quilter. Concerned Citizen. Foster Parent.
Nora Ann Gilliam Cully (Maternal Great-Grandmother) Always Pregnant. Pianist. Church-goer. Died Young.
Hannah Singleton-Nelson Gilliam (Maternal Great Great Grandmother) Former Slave. Laundress. Young Widow. Matriarch.
Jane B. Nelson Collins (Maternal Great Great Aunt) Former Slave. Freedom Fighter. Activist. Strong.

Fearless Females – March 12: Working Girl

March 12 — Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.

I had two grandmother’s that had their own businesses in their home.  Both of my grandmother’s sewed for a living.  My maternal grandmother Agnes Cully Peters was a fashion designer, and sewed for the Who’s Who in New York and then in later years Los Angeles when her sister Zara relocated to pursue her acting career.

 

My paternal grandmother Helen Bunn Thompson had a sewing room in her home and she would sew for church members, and many of the neighborhood families where she resided in Los Angeles.  This is one of the many ways she would make a living.  Helen was also was a foster parent and  a launderer.

Helen Bunn Thompson

 

I later learned from an older relative that Helen owned a cafe in Little Rock, Arkansas and in St. Louis, Missouri.

Fearless Females Blog Post-March 8: Diaries, Letters & Journals

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

I have decided to participate in the Prompts:  So here we go!

March 8 — Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt.

Here is a small insert of the memoirs of my mother Betty Mae Peters that will be published in January 1, 2013 by FreedomInk Publishing.  The setting takes place in the 1940’s in New York City.

Image

Betty Mae Peters Porter with her mother Agnes Mae Cully Peters

Many “black” people, in order to obtain employment, passed for white, “Spanish”, or anything but “colored.”  This was quite common and quite accepted in the black community, as using whatever one could to “make-it” in a basically hostile society.  Blacks also liked the idea of “fooling” paddies (a word for whites).  The darkest black would smile a knowing we-smile upon encountering a friend or acquaintance “passing” on a job, and, far from giving-away the imposter, would instead return to the black community and laughingly report how so-and-so was fooling those “dumb paddies.”  However, in my naivete, I was amazed to learn that whites went through the same kinds of fabrications for the exact same reasons.

If you like this, wait till you read the book “A Taste of Sugar”…

Copyright protected by Estate of Betty Mae Porter-1973-2012

Fearless Females Blog Post-March 5-How They Met

I am participating in the Fearless Female Blog Posts for Women’s History Month, where we post about the females in our family.  The questions

March 5 — How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?

Yvonne Greene (Godmother), Agnes Cully Peters (Grandmother), Betty Mae Peters Porter, Walter J. Porter, Helen Bunn Thompson (Grandmother)

My parents Betty and Walter Porter met through mutual friends.  I don’t know the complete detail of their introduction to one another, but I remember my mother telling me that he was a gentleman.  She stated that she could have chosen anyone, but there was something special about my father.  She called him a social genius and was full of potential.  All I know is those two together would really make you bust a gut. They were so fun together.  My father would have a joke and my mother would be right there with him, and laying one on the line.

The group of  friends my parents met through remained forever friends for over sixty years.  Some have passed on and some are still living and residing in different parts of the United States.

Fearless Females Blog Post-March 4-Marriage Records

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

I have not gone beyond finding marriage indexes of my grandparents and great-grandparents. I haven’t had much success with online searches as I believe I will need to order the certificates. I have no wedding photo’s of any grandparent ancestors.

I am surprised that there are no wedding photo’s in my possession as my Grandmother Agnes in later years made wedding dresses for many of the who’s who.  What I do have is an insert of my mom’s journal discussing her parent’s union.

The Union of Agnes Mae Cully and Charles Irving Peters

Agnes and Charles fell in love and decided to marry.

Mother had a dear friend who lived in Brooklyn, New York.  Her name was Louise Bryant.  Her husband was a composer, Fred Bryant.  They lived in a beautiful brownstone house in Brooklyn. (My father’s home state was West Virginia, so they were both in Florida temporarily.)  When they decided to wed, they agreed they wished to leave the South.  Mother had promised “Aunt” Louise that no matter where she was when she found her true love, she would be married in Louise’s house in Brooklyn, as Mother and Dad bid farewell to people and places in Florida, took the train to Brooklyn and were married in a beautiful ceremony in this lovely, beautifully appointed house.

When I was growing up, one didn’t call older people by their first names, so close adult friends became “Aunts and uncles”, as a result, there were quite a few adults whom I addressed and spoke of in this manner, although they were actually not relatives.

My mother said her first “inkling” that she was going to have trouble with Daddy was when he took her to Atlantic City for their honeymoon.  Evidently, he put her up in a fine hotel.  It was very romantic for her!  However, when the bill came due, Daddy didn’t have the money to pay it.  In Mother’s fury, she tore the wedding ring off her finger and threw it out the window.  She threw her clothes into her bags and went to the train station, but it was too late to get a train leaving the city.  Feeling totally stranded, she returned to the hotel.The next day, after they made-up, she crawled around in the grass and hunted until she finally found her wedding ring!

As punishment for not paying the bill, Mother and Dad had to work out their indebtedness at the hotel.  I don’t know what he did, but she made the beds!

(Copyright 1970-2012 by Yvette Porter Moore, No form of publication without permission given.)