JOIN AUTHOR CHERYL WOODRUFF-BROOKS FOR A SPECIAL LIVESTREAM READING AND DISCUSSION
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH FROM 7-7:45PM
NETFLIX & READ
VIEW THIS LIVESTREAM HERE: <will be posted when available>
Watch “Self Made” about Madam C.J. Walker then visit us for a livestream reading about Cheryl W. Brooks’s Golden Beauty Boss: The story of Madame Sara Spencer Washington & The Apex Empire. You can also buy the book in advance and read it, watch the movie, and join the livestream to leave questions for the author. BUY THE BOOK ON AMAZON
Cheryl Woodruff-Brooks has created the first biography of the life of Madame Sara Spencer Washington, founder of Apex News and Hair Company, once located in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In 1911, a Virginia entrepreneur moved to Atlantic City and started selling cosmetics door-to-door and styling hair in her basement, growing her business into an empire. Sara opened a manufacturing company creating hundreds of products and hired 45,000 sales agents all over the world. Madame Sara Spencer Washington also opened beauty schools in twelve states. Her longest legacy was the Apex Beauty College in Philadelphia, which existed for nearly sixty years. Sara was honored at the New York World’s Trade Fair in 1939 as one of the “Most Distinguished Businesswomen,” surpassing the well-known Madame C.J. Walker in sales of hair and beauty products. She continued to expand Apex internationally, doing business in Haiti and South Africa. Madame Washington acquired millionaire status in the 1940s, taking on roles as a civic leader, and philanthropist. Cheryl takes you through the history of Apex from its inception until its dissolution after Sara’s death in 1953, sharing details of her life as she faced discrimination while earning the respect of all races along her journey.
Cheryl discovered this hidden figure while researching her debut book, Chicken Bone Beach: A Pictorial History of Atlantic City’s Missouri Avenue Beach (Sunbury Press,$9.99). “No sooner than I learned about Sara, I instantly became captivated by her story,” Brooks writes in her introduction of her paperback. Very few stories have been told about an African-American woman succeeding economically in America during a time of racial tension. Madame Washington’s company earned profits equally comparable to her white counterparts such as Estee Lauder.
Cheryl’s first book was nominated for a 2017 Literary Award with the Schomburg Center in New York City, used in classrooms at Purdue University and referenced in The Oxford Handbook of American Folklore and Folklife Studies. Cheryl has been involved in speaking engagements discussing Chicken Bone Beach, including an event called, Black Girl Beach Day which took place on the sands of historical Chicken Bone Beach, Rowan University, and the Atlantic City Historical Museum. Cheryl has been interviewed by several newspapers such as the Philadelphia Tribune, celebrity strategist and on-air radio personality Dyana Williams of Philadelphia’s Radio One, I Heart Radio, podcasts, and online radio stations. Cheryl is also a professional singer/songwriter, writing songs for her own music projects and for other artists.
For more information on the book, go to https://www.cherylwb.con
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