Oscar Micheaux was an African-American filmmaker whose movies were a challenge to racial segregation and an alternative outlet for black moviegoers. He is thought to have written, produced and directed more than 40 films from 1919 to 1948. Micheaux was born in or near Metropolis, Illinois, on January 2, 1884. He moved to Chicago at age 17 and worked as a porter before moving to South Dakota to farm and write. Micheaux's experiences served as the subject matter for his novel The Homesteader. In 1919, he produced a big screen version of the novel, which was the first full-length feature produced by an African American filmmaker. A sometimes controversial trailblazer, Micheaux continued to make films for the next three decades until his death on March 25, 1951, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I have always tried to lay before the colored race a cross-section of its own life, to view the colored heart from close range.”
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