TEANECK, N.J. – Kathryn Priscilla “Kaypri” Marcus, who grew up in Teaneck, is now living in Los Angeles and working on a book — “The Hip Hop Caregiver.”
Marcus, 43, is an independent actor, writer and producer.
She has penned and performed a play, “BABYGIRL.”
But she had not planned on writing a book about being a young caregiver. Not until she became one to her mother, Dorothy Hampton Marcus, now 83.
Dorothy Marcus, a civil rights activist, was known for helping create a community dialogue on race in the wake of the 1990 police shooting death of a black teen, Phillip Pannell, in Teaneck.
As a young woman, Dorothy was consumed with examining the role of race in her own life. Raised as the youngest child in a Southern white family during the Great Depression, she went on to become an activist and marry an African American man.
“My mom met major people early in the civil rights movement,” Kaypri said. “At the time she was dating my dad secretly. They were attending events and holding hands under tablecloths .”
Living her passion, Dorothy, who moved to Teaneck because of its diversity, delayed motherhood until age 40.
Today Kaypri, who is single, is delaying her own family life to help her mother, who suffers with aphasia and Alzheimer’s disease. She moved her mom to an assisted living facility in Los Angeles, 10 minutes from her home.
Kaypri also finished her mother’s memoir, “I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know.”
“She was always there for me. I always knew somebody was in my corner,” Kaypri said. “My mom also set an example in caring for other people and fighting for those who are not empowered.”
That’s why Kaypri thinks not only about her own concerns as a caregiver but about the concerns of everyone in her generation who finds themselves caregiving.
Kaypri started sharing the story of her daughterly bond with her mother and the complexities of caregiving in “The Baton,” a 2015 three-minute documentary that won an AARP film contest.