WITHIN OUR GATES (1920) – Retroview by Diane Carson

An extraordinary, early twentieth-century entrepreneur, Oscar Micheaux wrote, produced, directed, and exhibited what were then called race films. From 1919’s The Homesteader (now considered lost) to 1948’s The Betrayal, Micheaux’s forty productions explicitly addressed contemporary issues in a Jim Crow era. The earliest surviving feature by an African-American director, Within Our Gates (1920), tackles subjects still relevant and dramatically presented.

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