The incredible and little-known story of Sarah Rector, once the wealthiest Black woman in America, from Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner Tonya Bolden
Searching for Sarah Rector brings to light the intriguing mystery of Sarah Rector, who was born into an impoverished family in 1902 in Indian Territory and later was famously hailed by the Chicago Defender as “the wealthiest colored girl in the world.”
Author Tonya Bolden sets Rector’s rags-to-riches tale against the backdrop of American history, including the creation of Indian Territory; the making of Oklahoma, with its Black towns and boomtowns; and the wild behavior of many greedy and corrupt adults.
At the age of eleven, Sarah was a very rich young girl. Even so, she was powerless . . . helpless in the whirlwind of drama—and danger—that swirled around her. Then one day word came that she had disappeared.
This is her story, and the story of other children like her, filled with ups and downs, bizarre goings-on, and a heap of crimes.
Out of a trove of primary documents, including court and census records, as well as interviews with family members, Bolden painstakingly pieces together the events of Sarah’s life.