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Margaret E. Wright-Cleveland

writer, film producer, and director. Oscar Micheaux was the most prolific African American filmmaker of the twentieth century, having produced thirty-eight films between 1913 and 1948. He also wrote seven novels, including three best sellers. Though Micheaux experienced foreclosures and bankruptcy, ultimately he was financially successful. He worked only for himself, as a homesteader, book publisher, and filmmaker, and marketed his own novels and films broadly. His silent films are more critically respected than his sound films, though his use of light-skinned African American actors and caricature is controversial.

Micheaux was the fifth of eleven children born to the former slaves Bell Willingham Micheaux and Calvin Swan Micheaux in Metropolis, Illinois. He had no formal education beyond high school, working as a Pullman porter before purchasing a relinquished homestead in the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1906 Even though he lost land to ...