When you think of TV's Whitley Gilbert-Wayne, the last thing that comes to mind is Acushnet, Massachusetts.

Whitley was a high-class, snobbish Southern belle type – not at all someone you'd expect to find hanging out at Pope Park or Ponderosa Sportsman's Club.

Whitley was a fictional television character on the NBC sitcom A Different World, brilliantly played by actress Jasmine Guy. The series, a spinoff of The Cosby Show, aired from 1987 to 1993.

Guy won six consecutive NAACP Image Awards for her portrayal of Whitley.

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Guy was born in Boston on March 10, 1962 to parents William Vincent Guy and Jaye (Resendes) Rudolph. Jasmine grew up in Atlanta before joining the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York when she was 17.

Guy's African American father was pastor of the historic Friendship Baptiste Church of Atlanta and was a college instructor in philosophy and religion. Her Portuguese-American mother was a school teacher with deep family ties to Acushnet.

In a 2016 UMass Dartmouth piece promoting Guy's appearance in the Zeiterion Theater's production of Raisin' Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey, "Z" Executive Director Rosemary Gill said, "Her appearance is a homecoming because Jasmine's family is from Acushnet."

Actress Jasmine Guy's Portuguese Mother Was Born In Acushnet
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According to a 2016 article by Lauren Daley in the Standard-Times, Jaye Rudolph's parents were from Acushnet. Rudolph told Daley the family would gather at her parents' home every summer.

Rudolph told Daley, "All the cousins 'got together and played, and they'd always have shows, which Jasmine would direct, and they'd entertain all the aunts and uncles.'"

Daley wrote, "Rudolph was born in 1937 to Francisco and Maria Resendes, Portuguese immigrants who settled in Acushnet."

Jasmine's mom attended the Marie S. Howland Grade School and Normandin Junior High School before graduating from New Bedford High School in 1955. From there, she attended Simmons College in Boston, met her husband, and the family moved to Atlanta.

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