Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wise, Breedlove & Crosby

 Sounds like a law firm doesn’t it? Well, perhaps if they’d known each other. And they would have been a force to reckon with. In the course of my daily curiosity about everybody and everything I came across three amazing women I’d like to tell you about.

Brownie Wise

I learned of her while watching a PBS special. You know what Tupperware is. Right? C’mon, you gotta know. Well Brownie Wise is one of the reasons you do. She was an early representative for the brand and became wildly famous for her efforts. She was the quintessential Tupperware Lady and developed the “party plan” for the company. She also  made buckets of money for them. Women loved her for her expertise (ladies, let me show you how to “burp” those lids) and her fashion sense. She even gave one of her dresses away to an admirer. Loaded with charm and the ability to persuade she was a rare bird in her day – a female executive in the 1950’s. Gotta love a woman like that. If you’d like to know more about her follow this link.
Sarah Breedlove Walker aka Madame C.J. Walker

The first black millionaire in America. Whoa – now what? Yup, this extraordinary woman is one of the reasons I can go out an buy a straightening kit for my fuzzy-in-the-summer hair. I found her by researching such products because I really hate my summer hair (a little side note there). Anyway,  born in 1867 to former slave parents, Ms. Breedlove took the world of cosmetics for black women to soaring heights and made a fortune doing so. What hustle and moxie she must have had! Those are good things when you need to make your way in this world. And long before Oprah, too. Sarah built her retirement home on the banks of the Hudson near J.D. Rockefeller and Jay Gould. Bravo! Thank you Madame Walker and my hair thanks you, too. More here. 

Fanny Crosby

What’s your favorite hymn? One of mine is Blessed Assurance. The words for this iconic Christian hymn were written by Ms. Crosby whom I learned of from a book given to me at Christmas titled “Then Sings My Soul” by Robert J. Morgan. Born in the 1820 Fanny lost her sight at six weeks old due to treatment for an eye inflammation that damaged her optic nerves (later disputed). But this didn’t seem to have an effect on her gift of writing. She penned her first poem at the age of eight and never stopped. She wrote a thousand secular poems, poetry, political songs, and cantatas, one of which, The Flower Queen, was the first cantata written by an American composer. She was famous all over the place and I’ll bet you never heard of her. She was blessed with 94 years of life with which to accomplish all this and she’s one of my heroes. Here’s a link if you want to know more.

Fame is fleeting and as the generations roll on those who dance briefly in its flame are soon forgotten. But thank God for people who, in their time, rise above it all and accomplish things that affect our lives whether we know it or not. Don’t you think?

 Image: Free Digital Photos


  1. Women to be admired for sure! I'd heard about all but Brownie Wise. You knew those Tupperware party games had to originate somewhere. :)

  2. That's right, Karen. She probably designed some of those silly games we played at those parties, too. LOL Thanks for commenting. =0)