- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 5 hours and 20 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: KMT Publications
- Audible.com Release Date: August 15, 2014
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00MREVFVA
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux: Pioneer Black Author and Filmmaker Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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The most fascinating aspect of this book was the fact that many of the issues being faced by Micheaux and other filmmakers during his time are quite similar to those of filmmakers today. Debates about how it is the responsibility of African American filmmakers to produce quality work depicting African Americans only in their most positive light were perhaps more heated in the 1920's than they are today. This heated debate was a particular issue to Micheaux because much of his work included controversial themes and not so positive images of African Americans. While the masses of African Americans seemed to enjoy and support his work and the themes he discussed, the critics and intellectuals of his day often took issue with it.
This book paints a historical overview of the times in which Micheaux lived as well as broad overview of his life and accomplishments. For the most part, this book was an easy read packed with lots of information, but there were times when some of the technical jargon was difficult for a person who has not studied film to understand. Still I highly recommend this book for anyone that would like to learn more about a pioneer in Black film.
Reviewed by Stacey Seay
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
"The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux" became the subject of late author Earl James Young's graduate thesis because he was an admirer of Micheaux's pioneer spirit. Micheaux was the first filmmaker to offer his audience a range and diversity of African-Americans in film. Micheaux became a controversial figure raising the ire of blacks as well as whites for filming what he wanted, not what others felt he should.
Micheaux fought an uphill battle to get his films shown. White distributors would not market films by blacks, so Micheaux was only allowed to show his films at African-American theaters. In addition, Hollywood jumped on the African-American band wagon and created African-American films superior in quality to Micheaux's and other Indy filmmakers. Micheaux stayed with it but struggled until his death in 1951.
Young dedicated his research to Micheaux life, because he understood the pain of having a gift, but lacking the opportunity to give one's all to a career. However, Young died in 1993 of a brain tumor before publishing his thesis into a book.
With the permission of Young's family, Dr. Beverly J. Robinson has edited Young's thesis into a compelling and essential book for up and coming filmmakers and movie buffs about Micheaux's 40 plus films which made him hero to some and a victim to others. "The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux" includes a complete filmography of Micheaux's films and bios of the actors who appeared in Micheaux's films --- some such as William Fountaine and Evelyn Preer who went onto star in Hollywood productions.