When an 11-year-old Black girl in Jim Crow America discovers a seemingly worthless plot of land she has inherited is worth millions, everything in her life changes — and the walls begin to close in. The untold story brought to life from thousands of pages of archival documents.

Sarah Rector, 11, stood up and wiped her hands on her sweat-soaked shift, a simple loose dress. She had to squint to block out the radiating sun. It was another hot August in rural Oklahoma — hot enough for her barefoot soles to grow numb from the scorching dirt. She wasn’t much taller than the cotton plants surrounding her.

Sarah, her siblings, dad Joe, and mom Rose would repeat this cycle day in and day out in the summer of 1913 until a sea of bulbous whiteness would stretch out before them. This was the Rector family’s life, and…

Lauren N. Henley

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