Micheaux, Oscar

Micheaux, Oscar

(1884–1951) motion picture producer; born in Metropolis, Ill. He worked as a Pullman porter, farmer, and rancher and wrote novels before he produced the first motion pictures for African-American audiences (from 1919). During the 1920s he produced Within Our Gates, a treatment of the Leo Frank lynching in Atlanta, Ga.; The Brute, featuring the black boxer Sam Langford; The Symbol of the Unconquered, an indictment of the Ku Klux Klan, and many other silent films. Always hampered by lack of funds and poor distribution, he lapsed into bankruptcy in the early 1940s.
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