Sara Spencer Washington

Sara Spencer Washington — Black Cosmetics Heiress’ Life Recalled at Hollywood Black Film Fest

*A documentary about the life of noted black businesswoman, philanthropist, and political activist Sara Spencer Washington will have its West Coast premiere as part of the Hollywood Black Film Festival. It will screen as part of the “Our Amazing Stories” program.

Sara Spencer Washington

Door-to-door sales of her hair supplies in Atlantic City and a patented hair straightening technique led to an East Coast chain of a dozen beauty schools called Apex. (There were offices in Cuba and Johannesburg, South Africa, as well!) Boasting thousands of sales agents by the 1940’s, her factory, warehouse, guest resort, farm, and publishing company led to a million dollar empire which yearly gave thousands of black women cosmetology degrees and financial independence.

“Now is the time to learn a depression-proof business” was the motto of “The Madame,” as she was called. In the 1940’s, she adopted her young niece Joan Cross so as to have an heir to the Apex fortune upon her death in 1953.

Sara Spencer Washington recalled

Interviewed are former employees, customers, models, and Judge Nelson Johnson of Boardwalk Empire fame. They tell of The Madame’s politics as evidenced by her breaking the color barrier at Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Captain Starn’s Restaurant, sponsoring the first Black float in that city’s famous Easter Parade, and creating one of the first black-owned golf courses on the East Coast.

The half-hour documentary is written, produced, and directed by Royston Scott, the son of Joan Cross, who will be on hand for questions and answers  after the screening.

Watch the trailer at the following link:

Premiere Details:
Sunday, February 26, 2017
AMC Marketplace 6
13450 Maxella Ave. #240
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Tickets $15.00






Royston Scott
[email protected]