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.
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
I am so grateful to ProQuest as they made their African American History available for free during the first half of Black History Month to researchers and anyone interested in exploring their Black History Collection. This was available a few years ago, and I had the opportunity to collect lots of articles connected to my family. This year was different as I collected more that had not been in the database from the first time I researched.
I decided for this Wordless Wednesday, I would showcase one of the articles regarding my maternal Grandmother Agnes Mae [Cully] Peters. I have shared before that she was a fashion designer in the 30’s-50’s in Harlem, New York. I hope to actually make this into a series to showcase her many newspaper articles as I find them fascinating as the people in the community felt that the events were news worthy.
This is a gown my grandmother Agnes Cully Peters designed and sewed for the Winter Fashions Collection show. Miss Ruth King was a regular model for Agnes and continued modeling even after my grandmother moved to Los Angeles in 1953.
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.