Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Everything Else You've Wanted to Know About 'The Wire' - Cast Reunites for Hour-Long Chat Watch: Everything Else You've Wanted to Know About 'The Wire' - Cast Reunites for Hour-Long Chat TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down Donald Glover Adds to Growing Film Slate - Joins Cast of Ridley Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Martian' Donald Glover Adds to Growing Film Slate - Joins Cast of Ridley Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Martian' It All Started at a BSU Meeting: Justin Simien on 'Dear White People', Raven-Symoné, and the Black Art House (Interview) It All Started at a BSU Meeting: Justin Simien on 'Dear White People', Raven-Symoné, and the Black Art House (Interview) Review: 'Dear White People' (A Cinematic Answer to the Year of the "Race-Themed" Film) Review: 'Dear White People' (A Cinematic Answer to the Year of the "Race-Themed" Film) The Cast of 'Drumline: A New Beat' Talk How the Original Movie Impacted Them The Cast of 'Drumline: A New Beat' Talk How the Original Movie Impacted Them Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Steve McQueen Goes With Newcomer Devon Terrell to Play the Lead in His HBO Project Steve McQueen Goes With Newcomer Devon Terrell to Play the Lead in His HBO Project In Wake of 'Gotham' Controversy Comes 'Painted Down' - New Doc Chronicling Struggles & Hard Fought Victories of Black Stunt People In Wake of 'Gotham' Controversy Comes 'Painted Down' - New Doc Chronicling Struggles & Hard Fought Victories of Black Stunt People 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Consider Investigating The Fascinating Life Of Sarah Rector For Your Next Film...

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 15, 2013 at 1:36PM

I haven't done one of these "Consider" posts in a while. I hope to knock out a few this week.
14
Sarah Rector

I haven't done one of these "Consider" posts in a while. I hope to knock out a few this week.

If you're just joining us... as I come across material that I think would make good fodder for films, I'm sharing them here - from my Jackie Ormes piece, to The Black Count, to Ikire Jones: Lagos 2081 A.D., to Ghana's Leti Games and also Vanessa's The Sweet Hell Inside: The Rise of an Elite Black Family.

Today, consider the story of Sarah Rector - a young black girl born in Indian Territory on March 3, 1902, who, after humble early years, would go on to make headlines when she came into sudden wealth via oil rich land, after her parents died.

Courtesy of The Afrofuturist Affair:

Little Sarah Rector, a former slave, became one of the richest little girls in America in 1914. Rector had been born among the Creek Indians, as a descendant of slaves. As a result of an earlier land treaty from the government. Back in 1887, the government awarded the Creek minors children 160 acres of land, which passed to Rector after her parents’ deaths. Though her land was thought to be useless, oil was discovered in its depths in 1913, when she was just 10 years old. Her wealth caused immediate alarm and all efforts were made to put the child Sarah under “guardianship" of whites whose lives became comfortable immediately.  Meanwhile Sarah still lived in humble surroundings. As white businessmen took control of her estate, efforts were also made to put her under control of officials at Tuskegee Institute. Much attention was given to Sarah in the press.  In 1913, there was an effort to have her declared white, so that because of her millions she could ride in a first class car on the trains. 

An absolutely fascinating story, isn't it? One that I'd never heard of before until this morning. And one that I'm sure you'd agree, would make for quite an interesting film.

Sarah Rector

I couldn't find a large photo of Sarah, so all there currently is online is the one on the left.

I did some further research and landed on the The African-Native American Genealogy Blog, which adds a bit more to the story, including the many marriage offers from around the world that Sarah received after the news of her sudden wealth traveled, as many everywhere fought to gain access this little girl's wealth. The blog also states that the black press at the time intervened in order to protect Sarah from all the leeches.

It's also said that she attended Tuskegee Institute, and after she completed her studies there, she moved to Kansas City. In 1922, she married a Kenneth Campbell, and owned lots of real estate in the city. The couple also entertained some of the black elite of the day. 

Apparently, and maybe not surprisingly, there isn't much written about Sarah - especially her childhood and the latter days of her life, although the Genealogy blog states that a biography of her life is currently being written.

Sarah's father Joe Rector was the son of John Rector, a Creek Freedman. John Rector's father Benjamin McQueen, was a slave of Reilly Grayson a Creek Indian. John Rector's mother Mollie McQueen was a slave of Creek leader, Opothole Yahola.

As the blog notes, there's definitely a rich history here that deserves further research and exploration. Hopefully Sarah's bio will be completed and maybe film rights to it will be optioned.

Newspaper clippings below courtesy of The Afrofuturist Affair. You'll find even more HERE.

This article is related to: Things That Make You Go Hmm...


Shadow & ActNewsletter