Oscar Devereaux Micheaux was the first Black Best Selling Novelist in America, he was also the first Black independent filmmaker in America. Oscar Micheaux wrote, directed and produced 44 full length feature films; no other American filmmaker, White or Black has ever wrote, directed, produced and distributed a whopping 44 films.
Oscar Micheaux is also the only Black filmmaker with an International audience. Oscar Micheaux films are popular in Germany, Russia, France, Spain, Amsterdam, Sweden and Brazil.
Oscar Micheaux was first approached by a very successful American film company that wanted to turn his best selling novel into a motion picture. Oscar Micheaux told the film company he wanted to direct the movie himself, though he had never gone to film school or ever directed a movie before. The film company rejected Oscar Micheaux’s demand to direct the picture. On the heels of the failed deal, Oscar Micheaux converted his publishing company to the Micheaux Film and Publishing
company, and a career in Black Cinema was born.
Oscar Micheaux has no equal in the world of Black American Cinema; Oscar Micheaux’s 1948 film, ‘THE BETRAYAL’
was the first film by a Black filmmaker to open in a White movie house on Broadway in New York City. There are no prints of the film known to exist in America; there are prints in Spain and France.
In 1986 I contacted the U.S. Postal Service and I asked them how I could start a drive to get a stamp for Oscar Micheaux. They told me and year after year with the help of friends in Hollywood and Broadway and other good friends in the entertainment industry we were able to get enough letters of support for a Black Heritage Stamp. On June 22nd, 2010 the U.S. Postal Service issued a 44-cent stamp, Oscar Micheaux Black Heritage Stamp.
I thought about the sheer irony of it all:
A 44-cent stamp and Oscar Micheaux made 44 feature films, the Lord sure does work in mysterious ways because the thought still brings tears to my eyes. Oscar Micheaux was at heart an avant garde artist who was way ahead of his time.
Should you come across any hard cover novel by Oscar Micheaux today it’s value is set at
Oscar Micheaux was born on January 2nd 1884.
You can watch Oscar Micheaux films @ YouTube for free.
MICHEAUX PUBLISHING SUPPORTS KAREN CARTER PETERSON
Follow her on Twitter @TeamKCP