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Meet Sarah Rector, America’s Youngest Black Millionaire You’ve Never Heard Of
We know it’s not Black History month anymore but Black history is every month. We ran across this story of Sarah Rector, America’s youngest, black millionaire that most have never heard of! Check out her amazing story below…
Sarah Rector, the second Black female millionaire and the youngest, having made her fortune as a child. Her story provides a unique insight into the racial politics of the time in which she lived, including both whites, African-Americans, and even Native Americans.
Sarah Rector was born on a Creek Indian plantation on March 3rd, 1902, in what is now present-day Oklahoma. Her parents, Joseph and Rose Rector, were the descendents of African slaves, but they were enslaved by the Creek rather than white landowners. This key difference would steer her life in a very different direction than other slaves. As a part of a peace treaty with the Creek, when these slaves were freed, they were known as Creek freemen. Nearly 600 Black children, including Rector, were entitled to 160 acres of land each.
Even with this benefit, racism still played a rol
Rector would later enroll in Tuskegee Institute, but when her wealth first came to light, many whites did not know how to react. She received many marriage proposals, including from four white men living in Germany. Some white Americans tried to have her recognized as white by law, due to her Native American ties, a movement that failed. Many other Black millionaires had their wealth removed by white guardians and while Rector had a guardian as well named T.J. Porter, she was able to hold onto her wealth.
By 18, Rector had her own estate. She owned stocks and bonds, a boarding house and bakery, and the Busy Bee Cafe and Hotel in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She also owned 2,000 acres of prime river bottomland and would later own a small farm outside of Kansas City, Missouri as well, making her a bonafide millionaire.
She was no stranger to flaunting this wealth as well, buying a mansion in Kansas City, as well as purchasing several cars, European gowns, and jewelry. At her mansion, she held lavish parties and invited stars of the day like Duke Ellington, Joe Lewis, Jack Johnson and Count Basie.
At the time of her passing from a stroke on July 22nd, 1967, the exact nature of Sarah Rector’s estate was not clear. It is known that her wealth had diminished some as a result of the Great Depression as well as gambling. She is buried in Taft, Oklahoma, the town where she was born.
The land granted to Rector and her family was considered to be unsuitable for farming and generally worthless, until oil was discovered. Oklahoma’s Cushing-Drumright Field, set up on Rector’s land, eventually would churn out 2,500 barrels of oil per day. Rector went to making $12,000 a day when she was 12 years old. In time, she would earn $3 million for her interests, becoming the first Black female millionaire in Kansas City. – via toorealfortv
SMDH@them trying to change her race to white after she got rich. Her life story is amazing and we need to start making movies out of stories like this and give the slave movies a break for a minute. It’s a shame that this is the first time many of us are even hearing about her. Imagine how many other amazing stories of people of color that have been buried by our educational system? What do YOU think about the story of Sarah Rector?
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