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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Harlem to New York: Zara Cully Brown - A Letter to my Mom

Zara Cully Brown, [my great-aunt] was a boarder in the same New York Apartment with her sister Agnes Cully Peters,  for a number of years between 1935-1940's.  My mother was quite young at the time, and I had not known that Aunt Zara ever lived in New York with my grandmother.  This discovery of their living arrangements was documented in the 1940's Census.

Aunt Zara had been living between Duval, Florida where she taught drama and was a elocutionist and New York.  She traveled to various states of the U.S. performing, speaking and doing readings.  Zara was not fully recognized as a talented & skilled actress until she landed the role of Olivia in "The Jeffersons."

Zara eventually moved to Los Angeles in the late 1950's taking my grandmother Agnes, her brother in-law "Unkie" Brown, and my mom.

I found this letter written to my mother regarding the movie role Zara took in "Sugar Hill" as the Voodoo high priestess..


Letter written to My mother Betty Mae Peters Porter


And here again, I have to take note that My brother and I were thought of indirectly.

" Kiss the children for me and excuse all errors."

Aunt Zara

I wanted to see what the home looked like that Aunt Zara lived in at the time this letter was written.  I do not remember this home, only the high-rise apartment she resided in a few years before her death in 1978.


What an adorable home.  Wonder if she chose this home as it seems similar to the homes Zara resided in Worcester, MA.