Snow Days & Black History Month

First things first, it’s actually snowing in Austin, TX!

Second things second, it’s Black History Month! So to celebrate this month, I decided to do a few posts focusing on Black directors and producers, first achievements for Black people in the entertainment industry and films made and starring Black people. The first person I’m going to talk about is Oscar Micheaux. Micheaux is widely regarded as the first Black filmmaker producing over 44 films, mostly race films. Remember folks, this was back in the early 1900s where Black people didn’t have the rights and means to do their own films, so for Micheaux to be completely independent and produce films is an achievement in itself. One of his most famous films is Within Our Gates, a film made in response to Birth of a Nation and the negative stereotypes of Black people that were portrayed by showing a more complex version of the early 20th century. Unfortunately for most film majors, Micheaux tends to be left out of film history textbooks despite his major achievements in independent film. I mean, the only reason why I manage to hear about him was because my film history professor dedicated a lecture to him because our book ignored him. I’m not going to go into extreme details about the man because I want you all to go look for yourself. This man is and should be an inspiration to all indie filmmakers for the fact that despite adversity from the white dominated film world, he still managed to produce and showcase his own films to the public.

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2 thoughts on “Snow Days & Black History Month

  1. Brooks Eakin says:

    My History of World Cinema professor, Dr. Ramirez-Berg, dedicated a couple of days to Micheaux, and we watched clips from Within Our Gates (as juxtaposition to Birth of a Nation and Intolerance, D.W. Griffith’s other film).

    • J.Lee says:

      Yeah, some professors who actually know or care about this kind of stuff will talk about Micheaux because he is one of the “firsts” of filmmaking. I’m glad Dr. Ramirez-Berg gave time for him.

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