Transitioning from job to job as a teenager, Oscar Micheaux was able to write a story that was inspired by his experience on a farm. The novel, entitled The Homesteader, was published and later adapted into a silent motion picture. With this project, he became the first black filmmaker to independently produce and direct his own feature films.
Micheaux’s creative contributions didn’t stop there. He continued to create movies that tackled themes specific to the black experience, juxtaposing the imagery being depicted in Hollywood at the time. Despite efforts to censor him, Micheaux was able to create over 30 films spanning three decades.
In this episode of Black History In Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., with additional commentary from historian Donald Bogle, Vincent Brown of Harvard University, and Imani Perry of Princeton University, we explore the path of the first major black filmmaker. Micheaux legacy remains as one who used his platform to highlight social injustices despite those who tried to censor him.
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Archival Materials Courtesy of:
• Alamy Images
• Everett Collection, Inc.
• Getty Images
• Library of Congress
• Robert F. Smith
• Henry Louis Gates Jr.
• Dyllan McGee
• Deon Taylor
• William Ventura
• Romilla Karnick
• Oovra Music
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