Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... Storm Would Have to be Recast for Future 'X-Men' Movies. Who Would You Like to See Play Her? Storm Would Have to be Recast for Future 'X-Men' Movies. Who Would You Like to See Play Her? 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. Angelina Jolie Wants to Take on 'Africa' Angelina Jolie Wants to Take on 'Africa' Once Supporters Now Critical of Actress Daniele Watts, as Civil Rights Activists Call on Actress to Apologize Once Supporters Now Critical of Actress Daniele Watts, as Civil Rights Activists Call on Actress to Apologize Trailer: UP Original Movie 'My Other Mother' (Lynn Whitfield, Essence Atkins, Jasmine Guy) Debuts 9/21 Trailer: UP Original Movie 'My Other Mother' (Lynn Whitfield, Essence Atkins, Jasmine Guy) Debuts 9/21 Wendy Williams is Crushing the Competition in the Ratings, as Queen Latifah's Show Struggles In Last Place Wendy Williams is Crushing the Competition in the Ratings, as Queen Latifah's Show Struggles In Last Place 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Watch First Full Trailer For 'Black-ish' Starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laurence Fishburne Watch First Full Trailer For 'Black-ish' Starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laurence Fishburne 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... Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More) Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More)

Considering An Investigation Into The Fascinating Life Of Sarah Rector As A Feature Film...

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 1, 2014 at 11:36AM

Considering An Investigation Into The Fascinating Life Of Sarah Rector As A Feature Film...
3
Sarah Rector

Editor's note: Thus far, since I launched the "Consider *This Story* For Your Next Film Project" series of posts a year ago, 2 suggestions we've made have been set up for development in Hollywood. Most recently, just 2 days ago, it was announced that author Tom Reiss' novel "The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo," has been optioned by Sony Pictures. It's almost as if our recommendations are being taken into consideration by those with the power to see them through, from script to screen. So I figured, as I did with The Black Count previously, and Jackie Ormes more recently, I'll repost some of our other "Consider This..." pieces, hoping that maybe they will eventually be met with the same success that the other 2 are currently enjoying. Here's another recommendation which may have been missed last year...

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 to 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 went on to attend the 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