This is definitely one of the most interesting Black History Month stories we have come across.
Couresty of a submission from a listener, we were able to learn and share the story of Little Sarah Rector.
She was a young black girl born in Indian Territory on March 3, 1902, and a former slave who 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. Much attention was given to Sarah in the press and in 1913, there was an effort to have her declared white. See the news clippings here. Due to the attention of the black press, Sarah's life eventually moved in a brighter direction, when individuals stepped in "from the race" to intervene and help give her a better life.