Before Denzel and Halle won the Oscar. Before Jamie Foxx riveted audiences with his spot-on portrayal of Ray Charles, there was a time when Black actors and actresses were limited in what they could portray in motion pictures. In many roles they were reduced to subservient roles such as maids, cooks and nannies. But even as Jim Crow pervaded in the mainstream film industry, there were more than 400 Black-produced motion pictures made between 1915 and 1950. And one man, Oscar Micheaux, was responsible for more than 10 percent of them. Enjoy the powerful story of how Micheaux dared to defy the stereotypes at a time when many Blacks lacked basic civil rights.
This 30-minute version explores how and why film stereotypes were used.