Culture / Film

The true story of Sarah Rector, ‘The Richest Black Girl in America’ is being adapted into a film

The Richest Black Girl in America

If you're a lover of excellent storytelling, Truly*Adventurous would already be on your regularly-rotated list. For the uninitiated, the platform has garnered somewhat of a cult following in recent years; operating as a digital magazine sharing the works of some of the best non-fiction writers from across the globe. A champion of true stories, it came as no surprise to anyone when Lauren N. Henley's story, The Richest Black Girl in America, was published on the site. Now, the hit short-story is being transformed for the screen by Bridgerton writer, Azia Squire.

If you're unfamiliar with the story, The Richest Black Girl in America is set in the early 1900s, and follows the true tale of Sarah Rector, an 11-year-old Black girl in Jim Crow America, who is given reparations in the form of uninhabitable land by the U.S. government. Although initially the land seemed useless, "a misplaced band-aid on centuries of mistreatment", it isn't long before oil reservoirs are discovered beneath her land, and Rector instantly becomes one of the wealthiest people in America.

As the government catches wind of her newfound wealth, they of course intervene; demanding that white conservators manage her finances for her. But Rector is smarter than she initially leads on, managing to outwit the system and take back what she’s owed.

The feature script, written by Squire, will not only be based on Henley's article, but will also draw on thousands of pages of archival documents to help with research of the film. Matthew Pearl and Charlie Wachtel (from Adam Driver's BlacKkKlansman), will be producing the film.

This isn't the first time Squire has tried her hand at film adaptation either. Recently, she adapted the New York Times bestseller Amari and the Night Brothers for Universal; so you could say The Richest Black Girl in America is in good hands.

Stay tuned for more details to come on the upcoming film, and in the meantime, you can familiarise yourself with the story, here.

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