Long before Reggie Hudlin, Kasi Lemmons, Robert Townsend, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, John Singleton, Mattty Rich, Ava DuVernay, husband-wife duo Reggie Rock Bythewood & Gina Prince Bythewood, and Spike Lee, there was Oscar Micheaux. A film director, independent producer, writer and entrepreneur, Micheaux wrote, directed, produced and distributed 48 films and, additionally, authored 7 novels throughout a career that spanned three decades (1917-1948)!
“The Czar of Black Hollywood”, Oscar Deveraux Micheaux was the fifth of thirteen children born to Calvin and Belle Michaux on January 2, 1884 in a small community near Metropolis, Illinois. The Michaux family believed strongly in the value of education. As they struggled to live beyond survival on their small farm, the Michaux parents moved to Metropolis for better opportunities and access for their children to become educated. Over time, however, life in the city became an even greater struggle and the family returned to their farm. Oscar, who was very bright, became rebellious upon their return and his father sent him back to Metropolis to find his own way in the world.
For greater enlightenment...
Books by Oscar Micheaux
The Conquest: The Story of a Negro Pioneer (published anonymously as “The Pioneer”)
The Forged Note: A Romance of the Darker Races
The Wind from Nowhere
The Case of Mrs. Wingate
The Story of Dorothy Stanfield, Based on a Great Insurance Swindle, and a Woman
The Masquerade: An Historical Novel
Writing Himself into History: Oscar Micheaux, His Silent Films, and His Audiences by Pearl Bowser and Louise Spencer
Slow Fade to Black: The Negro in American Film, 1900-1942 by Thomas Cripps
From Sambo to Superspade: The Black Experience in Motion Pictures by Daniel J. Leab
Blacks in Black and White: A Source Book on Black Films by Henry T. Sampson
Black Novelist as White Racist: The Myth of Black Inferiority in the Novels of Oscar Micheaux by Joseph A. Young