Oscar’s Gift Reading Guide: Day 1
Who was Oscar Micheaux?
Most people who are aware of Oscar Micheaux know him as America’s first major African-American feature filmmaker. Born in 1884 in Metropolis, Illinois, Micheaux would eventually produce over forty films, both silent and talkies. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and his own USPS Black Heritage Stamp.
I first became aware of Oscar when doing some family research about the Rosebud Indian Reservation during the first part of the 20th century, and I learned that he had owned land in both Tripp County and Gregory County, where my grandparents lived. Micheaux is perhaps best known for his film making, but I was most fascinated by his childhood, his time as a Pullman Porter, his life as a homesteader, and his career as a novelist. He was an indie author before the term was in vogue, an entrepreneur, and a lifelong learner.
The following video provides a good background to Micheaux’s varied and fascinating life. You can also download an Oscar Micheaux education kit (pdf) from the U.S. Postal Service.
Click HERE for the full Reading Guide.