By Earl James Young Jr.
Over a three-decade interval that started in 1919, Oscar Micheaux wrote, directed, edited, produced and dispensed over 40 movies nationally and across the world. those motion pictures often featured all-Black casts. They spanned a silent movie interval (1919-1930)and a talkie interval (sound motion pictures) (1931-1948). Given this sort of historical past and the interval in American heritage into which he was once born, Micheaux's achievements have been awesome and his legacy is a learn of survival, endurance, and impressive decision to improve a brand new period in Black motion pictures. The ebook incorporates a observation through actor/producer Ossie Davis and has evaluation reproduction (on the again hide) via Dr. Maya Angelou and Dr. Henry T. Sampson. This ebook used to be edited by means of the past due Dr. Beverly J. Robinson, who was once Professor on the tuition of Theater, movie and tv at UCLA for almost 25 years.
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Extra info for The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux: Pioneer Black Author and Filmmaker, 1884-1951
Harry Gant, the sole White member, was a friend of Noble’s and a cameraman at Universal Pictures where they worked together. W. 20 It was a resounding success nationally and played most of the Black theaters in the United States, estimated to be no more than two hundred. 21 Lincoln’s second feature was the Trooper of Company K. It used over three hundred screen extras and was a tribute to the Black soldiers of the Mexican War. 22 Sampson reported 1917 as the year of Lincoln’s third 43 production, The Law of Nature.
His greatest complaint was loneliness. Loneliness would later lay the framework for much of his writing and filmmaking. Micheaux apparently fell in love with the daughter of a Scottish neighbor around 1909. In his recollections, loyalty to his race precluded such a union. There was also the fact that South Dakota had recently passed a strict antimiscegenation law that would have sent him to jail. 14 Though Micheaux made no mention of it in his first novel, The Conquest, he was undoubtedly aware of the country’s racial climate.
43 The rioting was, therefore, an additional cut into the only market to which Micheaux had access. The third problem the filmmaker had to consider was a national recession. Prices rose in the spring of 1919 and climbed steadily. 44 This was particularly devastating to the African Americans living in urban areas who were already at the bottom of the economic ladder. Recreational funds became scarce. Under these circumstances, the fact that Micheaux’s operation did not immediately fold suggests perseverance and shrewdness, if not luck, on his part.