Oscar Micheaux

Essay by daj0ka August 2006

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Oscar Micheaux was born in 1884 and died in 1951. He was a successful filmmaker and a novelist. He organized a film corporation in 1918, where he made more than 35 films. The organization was called the Micheaux Film Corporation. It was known because it was the longest and made the most films for a film organization. Oscar made his last film in 1948 called "The Betrayal." It was about a black homesteader from South Dakota whom fell in love with a white woman. Since 1919, Oscar Micheaux has produced, written, and edited more forty-five films. He was known for his bold determination, to develop a new era in black films.

Growing up, Oscar worked as a shoeshine boy, and a Pullman porter. When he was in his twenties, he invested all of his savings into a piece of farmland in a white community in South Dakota. In nine years time, he had wrote his first semi-autobiography.

It received fame, because he had went from door to door trying to sell his book. The Lincoln film club offered to film his book, called the homesteader in 1918. Oscar founded his own film company, when the Lincoln film club didn't want to put it on Oscar's desired scale rating. He started the Micheaux book and film company, and tried to convince people to buy his shares. He did this by going from door to door again, selling his company shares. His book "The Homesteader" was the first ever movie that written and produced by an African American.

His film "The Homesteader" did cause controversy because of the interracial romance in his film. But he never backed down from causing controversy. Even with the controversy he caused Oscar Micheaux is considered to be the one of the best black filmmaker and authors.