From Jacksonville: Zara Cully Brown

I made travels to New York in 2010 and copied pages and pages of articles, advertisements and announcements that pertained to various ancestors.

Some of these ancestors I knew, and some I did not..and for some, I was fortunate to hear stories about them.  I however knew my Aunt Zara.  She was an actress in Hollywood and played Mother Jefferson on the “Jefferson’s”.  I  was 10 years old when she died.  I didn’t  know the early life of Zara as she was born in the 1890’s…so piecing the puzzle together, and putting skin on the bones of who she was has been most rewarding.

Here is an article written in the Chicago Defender (National Editon) on December 24, 1927 where my maternal Great Aunt, Zara Cully Brown is mentioned.

 

[Transcribed Top portion]

FROM JACKSONVILLE

By CAPANA

The presentation of Damon and Pythias was a great success recently in Jacksonville, Fla.  The participants did their parts well and the huge audience showed their appreciation by heartily applauding.

Dr. R. L. Brown, one of the leading physicians of the town and a very able dramatic actor, did the role of Damon and really was at his best.

Miss Thomas cleverly did the part of Calanthe and  Mr. Hines as Pythias was perfect in casting.

The play was elegantly costumed and was abundant with scenic splendors.  The presentation was ably directed by Mrs. Zara Cully Brown.

 

 

In the article above, Zara Cully Brown is a participant as a dramatic reader at the St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem, New York.  This is the church my mother was a member of and had her confirmation here.  I visited this church in April 2010.  The Church was amazing!

I could sense my ancestors as I walked and worshiped in the very place they acted out their weekly routines.  Zara was a dramatic reader in Worcester, MA, in Florida, and she continued doing this in New York in December of 1939.  Zara also was faithful to helping others that were sick and shut-in.

I have so many articles to share and will continue to do so.  If you are interested in seeing more, you can go to the Category “Family and Friends in the News” under the Picture Tab.

 

Sponsor Fashion Show: Agnes Cully Peters

Agnes Cully Peters was my maternal Grandmother. She was a fashion designer in New York City. This is one of the many newspaper advertisements/newspaper articles that I have come across.

[Transcribed]

Sponsor Fashion Show:

Fashions of 1951 will be presented Sunday evening, Dec. 17, at Renaissance Ballroom by Madeline’s Beauty Salon and a Committee of Citizens.  The affair is a benefit for the New York Baptist Home For The Aged.

Among the exhibitors will be Mary Lou Chandler, Margaret Pegues Floyd, Agnes Cully Peters, Zelda Valdez, Spencer Flournoy, Arthur Smith, Nele Cuyjet.

*[Zelda Valdez (1905-2001) was also known as Zelda Wynn Valdez.  She was the first African American fashion designer to own her clothing shop in New York City.]