Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What I'm Reading

I've long been fascinated by Oscar Micheaux, a film pioneer whose life is the stuff of legend, but I've just recently caught up to Patrick McGilligan's masterful biography OSCAR MICHEAUX: THE GREAT AND ONLY. I can't recommend it highly enough. Deeply researched and sharply written, it tells the story of Micheuax through his autobiographical novels and films, as well as letters and interviews, government documents and newspaper achieves. Micheaux was the son of former slaves who headed to Chicago, became a Pullman porter, traveled all over North and South America, and then became a homesteader in South Dakota. All that before he became the key African American filmmaker of the first fifty years of film. Part Booker T. Washington, part D.W. Griffith, and part P.T. Barnum--he was, in the end, all himself, an icon of independence and artistic willpower.

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