The 1920s are just beginning in Kansas City, Missouri, and Sarah Rector is enjoying everything that the new decade has to offer. In her fast cars and stylish European dresses, she soon becomes something of a local celebrity. But Sarah is no ordinary debutante. No, as an African-American descendant of slaves, this young woman is enjoying a rise to riches that is one of a kind.
Sarah was born on March 3, 1902, close to the settlement of Taft in what is now Muskogee County, Oklahoma. Her father, Joseph, and her mother, Rose, were both descended from Creek Indians, and their fathers had fought in the Civil War. But although the family had once been slaves, they were freed under the Treaty of 1866.
Now when 1907 came along, the United States government was making preparations to create the state of Oklahoma. And as part of that agreement, the administration was obliged to integrate Indian lands into the new territory. As a result, Joseph, Rose and their three children were each allocated a plot of land.