Segments in this Video

Introduction: Oscar and Jackie, Two of the Same (03:43)


Patrick McGilligan wrote "Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only." The "Time" magazine book section called his writing pedestrian. Micheaux established a triad in Roanoke that consisted of wealthy African-American businessman.

Micheaux: Profile (04:53)

Micheaux was a self-published author and made over 40 films; there were no black writers, directors, or producers in Hollywood. "The Homesteader" was based on his experiences as the first African-American homesteader in South Dakota. In "Masquerade, a Historical Novel" Micheaux plagiarized 200 pages of a Charles W. Chestnutt novel.

Lost Prints (04:35)

Sheriffs confiscated and destroyed Micheaux's movies; all the Roanoke films were lost. Shingzie Howard came to New York and worked as Micheaux's secretary. His three prominent investors included business man from an insurance company, a black theater owner, and a restaurateur.

Social Commentator (05:04)

Authorities rebelled because Micheaux's films included racism, drug usage, partial nudity, and commented on issues of African Americans. "Within Our Gates" portrayed a black family being lynched. Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey influenced the filmmaker.

Personal Relationships (03:22)

Micheaux had two or three wives. Alice B. Russell became his wife, leading lady, producer, and writer. Alfred Sack financed several of his films.

The Book (04:16)

McGilligan has written books about many celebrities in Hollywood. He reconciles how he is able to appreciate art made by people who have done controversial things. Micheaux was not allowed to make movies for much of his life and had to fight creditors and authorities to continue to make art.

Credits: Oscar and Jackie, Two of the Same (00:21)

Credits: Oscar and Jackie, Two of the Same

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Oscar and Jackie, Two of the Same

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Patrick McGilligan is the author of Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only, The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker. In this program from Tony Brown's Journal, he offers a vivid and fascinating portrait of this little-known pioneer who produced more than 44 films.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL167311

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

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