Celebrating The Legacy Of Miss Jessie’s Natural Hair Entrepreneur Titi Branch
Our friend documentary filmmaker Kobie Brown just posted some incredible footage he had of Miss Jessie’s co-founder Titi Branch and we wanted to share with the class. A number of our staffers are Miss Jessie’s customers and have admired Titi and Miko for some time. How familiar are you with their story?
Here’s a little excerpt from Kobie’s post about this clip:
Just like Black History Month began eighty-nine years ago as Negro History Week – the invention of Carter G. Woodson, the son of former slaves – another inventor’s legacy took root in humble beginnings and a service-based idea born in a kitchen. So on the eve of Black History Month hundreds gathered inside Brown Memorial Baptist Church on an uncharacteristically warm winter day to celebrate the short life and legacy of Titi Cree Branch, the second inventor and co-founder of natural hair care giant, Miss Jessie’s. She was a forty-five year old entrepreneur who left her family, friends and the world much too soon.
One-by-one, family members, friends, acquaintances and those inspired by Ms. Branch took to a mahogany podium to sing songs, and share reflections of the childhood, adolescence, and lasting impact of Ms. Branch’s life. There were tales of adventure, school yard scuffles, selflessness and victory through struggle. Most striking, however, was the way in which the values planted in her formative years gave rise to an entrepreneurial spirit and self-determination that allowed so many women – scores of whom she never met – to see themselves through new eyes. This was more than evident as several women fought back tears while describing the impact the Branch sister’s products and story had on their sense of self. Through Miss Jessie’s, Titi Branch clearly provided those she touched with a confidence that Carter G. Woodson once described to be, “worth more than money”.
The story of Miss Jessie’s, Titi and Miko Branch will be shared in a forthcoming book, Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch – Naturally, due out in April 2015.