Oscar Micheaux, the First African-American Filmmaker

Oscar Micheaux
In 1919, filmmaking history was made when Oscar Micheaux became the first-ever African American to direct and make his own feature film. Micheaux got his start early when he wrote "a series of self-published books, including The Homesteader (1917), which he sold door-to-door," according to BritannicaHis experiences went on to grow more as time passed. The same article adds that Micheaux "wrote, produced, directed, and distributed more than 45 films for African American audiences" between 1919 and 1948.

This filmography was groundbreaking for audience members and filmmakers alike. According to the NAACP, "his accomplishments in publishing and film are extraordinary, including being the first African-American to produce a film to be shown in “white” movie theaters."

Oscar Micheaux left a mark on the world and was even regarded by the Producers Guild of America as "the most prolific black – if not most prolific independent – filmmaker in American cinema." In his long career, he even made time to write "seven novels, one of which was a national bestseller."