Sarah Rector, The Richest Black Girl


Amid the precolonial times, men of color, women, and children underwent so much discrimination. In some way, the colonials compared them to members of the ape family, wondering what species they evolved. It was unfortunate the blacks could not defend themselves from the white invaders as they came armed with superior weapons. As such, the blacks had no choice but to submit to the oppressive rulers. The colonials encroached on their lands, gathering most of the benefits. We will focus on the history of the richest black girl, Sarah Rector.

They grabbed the black man’s fertile soils, killed them, exposed them to work under demanding conditions, etc. Generally, they practiced what is called a violation of human rights, aka atrocities. The whites had toured close to all continents and dominated. For instance, India is among the countries they visited and oppressed the natives. However, it is from such accounts that we get to know about some blacks who made it.

Early Life Of Sarah Reactor (The Richest Black Girl)

Sarah Rector, the richest black girl, was born in 1902to both Rose McQueen and Joseph Rector. They lived in a town called Taft, located in the eastern part of Oklahoma. The latter today is what we call India. Initially, the Rector’s ancestors were slaves of the Creek tribal members. Therefore, after the civil wars, the United States government declared the freedmen like the Rectors members of the tribes that enslaved them. By becoming part of the Muscogee Creek Nation that signed a treaty with the colonials in 1866, the Creek descendants became free men and women. Hence their children had the privilege to own land as it was part of the 1866 Treaty.

About 600 black children of Muscogee ethnicity inherited acres of land. And Sarah Rector, the richest black girl, was among them. She had secured 159.14 acres of land in a region called Glenpool. The land was about 97 kilometers from Sarah’s home. No doubt, the distance was not that friendly. Other than the distance, the land had inferior infertile soils that could not support agricultural production. That had to happen since, amid colonial error, the whites received all the best treatment while they left the men of color with scraps.

A Golden Gift

The land Sarah Rector received was not suitable for farming, and still, the white government demanded she pays a tax of thirty dollars. Since Sarah’s family only managed to afford an average lifestyle, it was quite challenging to pay off the tax. Therefore, Joseph Rector, Sarah’s father, petitioned the Muscogee County Court to sell off the land.

However, it was unfortunate the court turned down his petition and stated that the colonials had placed restrictions on the land. Hence they could not permit specific courses. This left Sarah’s father with no choice but to continue paying the taxes, which overwhelmed him. Before Sarah’s dad rented out the farm to a Standard Oil Company to help him cover the tax, it was not long, though. In 1913 however, there was a sudden turn of events. B. B Jones, an Independent Oil Driller, bore a well in the land. He could not believe what he unearthed. The well-produced a gusher of overflowing oil.

The well began to generate up to 2500 barrels of oil daily. Since the land was under the richest black girl, she began receiving 300 dollars per day as her oil income. Nonetheless, during the colonial times, the law demanded that any person with property and money, purely Indian, whether a child or an adult, needed to have a well respected white as a guardian. Therefore, as soon as Sarah began receiving handsome income, the colonials inflicted so much pressure, demanding to change his parents’ guardianship to a particular white settler named T.J. Porter. T.J. was a ‘friend’ of the Rectors’. As such, they knew him pretty well.

In October 1913, Sarah received 11 567 dollars. She was working with the Cushing Drumright Oil Field, as her allotment subsequently became part of theirs. Because of Sarah’s wealth, she became famous. She started receiving messages of loan requests, money gifts, marriage proposals, etc. The most surprising one was the marriage proposal despite her being just 12 years of age.

As the debate regarding Sarah’s guardianship went on, the Oklahoma Legislature decided to declare Sarah a white, stating that she would receive the whites’ benefits by doing so. That would mean her social status had elevated to another level. She would move around in first-class cars and trains, and as a white woman, white men would legally propose marriage to her. Of course, marrying a white man would only result in Sarah losing control of her wealth since the man would seek control of Sarah’s land and finances.


The Controversies

Around 1914, The Chicago Defender, an American journal, gained interest in Sarah Rector’s story. There were so many rumors stating that Sarah was a white immigrant living in poverty. The Chicago Defender published an article discrediting Sarah’s family. It said that Sarah’s family was mistreating and mismanaging her property. It also stated that Sarah was living a low lifestyle with no education. This news triggered the National African American leaders to become concerned about Sarah’s well being.

Seemingly, it was not long before an agent from the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People responded. The agent, who went by the name James C. Waters sent a memo to Dubois, complaining about Sarah’s situation. James had gathered information from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the United States Children’s Bureau concerning the Rector’s land mismanagement.

In the memo, James asked whether it was so impossible for Sarah to be cared for with her parents, or people of her race, instead of leaving her under another race member who would deprive her of an incredible life and treatment.

James’s complaint made Dubois shift their focus on the Rector case. They commissioned the Children’s’ NAACP department to investigate white guardians’ claims who mistreated colored children. Washington also offered to help in setting the Rector case. In the same year, around October, NAACP enrolled Sarah in a Children’s boarding School at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. This is where she studied and graduated.

Later Life Of Sarah

Unlike most colored children in India, Sarah was already a millionaire by the time she turned 18 years. She owned several businesses and shares in different companies. It was at the same time that she decided to relocate from Tuskegee with her family. Sarah had bought a house in Kansas City, Missouri, on the 12th street. The Rector house still exists to date, and under the ownership of a local with an intention to restore Rector’s history.

After migrating to Kansas City, Sarrah married Kenneth Campbell, who was just a local man. They had organized a small ceremony with only close family members. The couple was blessed with three sons before calling it quits in 1930. After the divorce, Sarah continued living in comfort as she had the money.

The Rector family dressed in fine clothes and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. Sarah and her mother were the few black women, driving around town in Rolls  Royce limo and Lincolns. To top it all, Sarah hosted fancy parties attended by influential, prominent celebrities like Duke Ellington. However, since they were African Americans, they could not shop in some white shops since the colonials’ rule prohibited that.

Due to a nationwide depression that occurred in 1929, many millionaires incurred losses. Sarah is one of them. She experienced some challenges as she was running short of cash. This contributed to her becoming depressed. So she decided to limit what she spent.

Nonetheless, on June 22, Sarah Rector succumbed after suffering a chronic condition. During that time, she was 65 years old. Her burial took place in her hometown Taft, where her people buried her.

Meanwhile, Sarrah’s parents also passed away much earlier than her. Some reports indicate that Mr. Rector probably died from kidney disease as he had previously undergone operations based on health problems. However, other sources state that his death may have been due to his trauma after losing most of the Rector money.  Joseph’s death was a piece of tragic news to his wife and children. Later, Sarrah’s mother arranged for his husband’s burial back in Taft. Later Mama Rose also died. Regardless, the history of the Rector’s still lives among people.

The Rector family is proof of superior blacks despite the racism amid colonial times. What the colonials did amid their reign was unjust. And therefore, victims of such circumstances should receive compensation. For even the wealth which the whites currently possess, they gathered during the colonial error. Even though those who had been oppressed are no longer alive, the whites can still make it up to them through their descendants. The history of Sarrah Rector is an inspiring story that ignites hope during the colonial invasion. It is significant to note that no race is superior to others.



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