Monday, October 24, 2011

"Moving On Up!" A New Direction

Zara Cully Brown
     As I continue to gather information on the Higgins Papers, I will be reading books and documents that I can draw from to help me to place the Cully Family in historical context.

     This Novel that I am preparing to write has morphed into a different direction again, and I now believe that I have settled on the theme and integral character for this Non-Fiction masterpiece.  The historical novel will cover the periods of 1800 to 1978, with emphasis during the life of Zara Cully Brown who was born January 26 1892 in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Zara F. Cully was born during the Rise of the Industrial America which took place 1877-1900.  Zara's paternal ancestors were a free people of color rooted in New Bern, North Carolina in the late 1790's.  Zara Cully Brown was known for her appearances on The Jeffersons-Television Sitcom, as she played the part of Olivia Jefferson-The mother of George Jefferson.

     I had initially wanted to write about my mother's memoirs of Harlem-Sugar Hill, NY, then upon further research and travels to my ancestral hometowns of Sugar Hill, NY; Worcester, Cambridge and Boston, MA; Washington D.C.; Maryland and Florida, I realized that the story was larger than my mother, because it was her ancestors who set-up the next generations to achieve the American Dream.  I then decided I would research the Cully Family and the families they married into and talk about the family in historical context with my mother being the integral character, but after some thinking and advice from a mentor, I realized the theme "Moving On Up!" would be the thread that needed to run through the novel.

     It is common knowledge that people and families migrated throughout history looking for better opportunities, equality and a better life.  This is what the making of this novel is about.  I am still formulating and trying to visualize what this final project will look like.

     As I continue searching for documents, literary works, papers, and conduct interviews, this project will take a more solid form.

As I always say, Happy Research!


  1. This is so interesting! I had no idea Zara Cully Brown was born in Worcester. I remember her from her days on the Jeffersons as George's mother, but I didn't know her real name, and I certainly didn't know she was from Worcester. Thank you for posting this.

  2. Oh yes! One generation of Cully's was born in Worcester, MA. Zara's given name was Zara Frances Cully. She married a Brown from Florida.

    I will be posting a page for each of Zara's siblings. Hopefully I can get some of it together soon.

    Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Greetings Yvette! I admire your thrive to recreate and learn about your ancestry. Learning about who we are is integral part of knowing more about the possibilities of our future.

  4. Amazing! Didn't know you are related to "Mother Jefferson"