|Birth: ||Mar. 28, 1946|
|Death: ||Nov. 19, 2005|
Los Angeles County
Zara in Retrospect
Zara Gale Buggs Taylor was born on March 28, 1946 in Ocala, Florida. Her father and mother, John and Mary Gale Buggs, were respectively, principal and teacher at Fessenden Academy, an all-black boarding high school. She began her life quite comfortably and contented in the cocoon-like, insular existence that was Fessenden Academy. She readily ingratiated herself with teachers, staff members, and all of their children, but her closest friendship was with her younger sister, Diane, 3 1/2 years her junior. When Zara was only five years of age, she and her family embarked upon a new "adventure" as they began life anew in Los Angeles, California, over 3,000 miles away from all they had previously known.
Zara was gifted with a magnificent and rare singing voice, and pursued a career in music for a number of years. She sang for Marian Anderson at the age of 16. Miss Anderson listened graciously and attentively and told Zara and her very proud family that her voice was indeed unusually beautiful, and that in her opinion, a bright future in opera awaited Zara,if her voice received proper care and training. Later, she traveled and performed extensively with the New Christy Minstrels.
After graduating high school, Zara attended the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) as a voice major. After injuring her voice, Zara was forced to leave her studies at UCSB and return home to rest and rehabilitate her voice. She undertook this with grace, discipline, and determination, and without a trace of complaint or self-pity.
In time, Zara's voice recovered, and she continued her education at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Zara blossomed and flourished while at Spelman, her mother's alma mater. While at Spelman, she met her future husband, William R. Taylor, III a student at nearby Morehouse College. After marrying and graduating from Spelman, Zara moved to Worcester, Massachusetts with her husband. While there she worked for the City of Worcester Model Cities Program, and soon became "a force to be reckoned with."
Zara with her husband relocated to Los Angeles where, in 1975, she gave birth to a son, William R. Taylor, IV and approached motherhood with the love, commitment, and enthusiasm which were the hallmarks of her life. Zara began working for the Westside Fair Housing Council and the Westminster Neighborhood Association in Watts.
Zara later became a Senior Staff Consultant for the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (LACCHR); she staffed the Network against Hate Crime, supervised the County's Hate Crime Tracking Program, conducted hearings and authored many reports. Zara helped create,and staff, the Media Image Coalition (MIC) which works to promote employment access and more balanced portrayals of minorities and women in television and film. The MIC currently boast thirty member organizations (including the Writer's Guild of America) She remained with the commission for ten years. During this period Zara earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Law School.
After leaving the LACCHR, Zara joined the Writer's Guild of America, West as Director of Employment Access. She was responsible for creating a number of innovative programs, events, and initiatives that served to open up opportunities for writers in film and television. She later assumed the additional duties of Director of Human Resources at the WGA, and in this capacity Zara helped ensure that the Guild workforce was diversified and that opportunities for growth were provided for employees.
Under her leadership, the WGA's Employment Access department designed and developed a number of highly successful activities, including workshops and networking events for writers at the Guild as well as at CBS, Disney/ABC Universal Pictures, and others. The department she headed also staffed eight active committees, enforced the freelance writers' compliance provision of the Guild contract, tracked employment data, and coordinated outreach activities with many external advocacy groups, agencies, and organizations.
The Employment Access Department was presented the U.S. Department of Labor's EPIC (Exemplary Public Interest Contribution) Award by Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman for its innovative work in the area of affirmative action and the humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community Justice, the prism Award from Minorities in Business magazine, and the Oneness Media Award, among others.
Zara was appointed to the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. She regularly served as a panelist on issues involving diversity in the media and appeared on several radio and television talk shows in the Los Angeles area, as well as national news shows. Zara attended the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and was an entertainment industry panelist at the Congressional Black Caucus.
Zara was noted for her belief that "unless and until ALL America's diverse voices are heard-until ALL of America's stories are told by ALL of America's storytellers-we will not have true freedom of expression. We must all work harder and more effectively if true equality of opportunity is to be realized in Hollywood."
In 2001, Zara was diagnosed with Scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease which disproportionately affects women, particularly those of color. Zara was afflicted with its deadliest form. Zara continued to work full time until January 2005, to the utter amazement of her many doctors and specialists. Her spirit, drive, and passion for living remained undaunted by the ravages of her disease and resultant disability. She managed to fulfill her lifelong dream of seeing London and Paris during the summer of 2004, and actually had to be talked out of attempting to leave her wheel chair, on a cold and rainy day, in order to climb the 92 steps leading to the top of the Eiffel Tower, liquid oxygen tanks notwithstanding!
In her final weeks and days, Zara remained resolute in her determination to defeat her disease and continued to hope and strive toward her goal of becoming a double lung transplant recipient.
Zara is survived by her loving husband, William Roscoe Taylor, III, her son William Roscoe Taylor IV and wife Cherissa Acosta Taylor, her sister Diane Dorinda Dix, nephews Robbie John Dix and Tanner Lang, nieces Chenier Taylor and Erin Lang, sisters-in-law Marilyn Edwards and Janice Taylor, brother-in-law Connelly Taylor, Leroy Lang, and Robbie Dix, III,as well as numerous cousins and special friends.
Mary Gale Brown Buggs (1917 - 2005)
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Los Angeles County
Plot: Freedom Mausoleum, Columbarium of Understanding, Niche 36818
Created by: The Root Digger: Yvette ...
Record added: Oct 15, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60135844
With love and peace, Enjoyed your grandmas work as mother Jefferson rest in peace|
Added: Feb. 17, 2014
May you have eternal joy with your loved ones, rest peacefully beautiful Zara.|
Added: Dec. 11, 2013
I enjoyed your late grandmother's work in the 1970's on tv/film. May you rest in peace and suffer no more...|
Added: Oct. 1, 2013
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