Oscar Devereaux Micheaux January 2, 1884 – March 25, 1951) was an African American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 films. Although the short-lived Lincoln Motion Picture Company was the first movie company owned and controlled by black filmmakers, Micheaux is regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker, a prominent producer of race film, and has been described as “the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the 20th century”. He produced both silent films and sound films when the industry changed to incorporate speaking actors.
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Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr. (born September 16, 1950, in Keyser, West Virginia) is an American literary critic, teacher, historian, filmmaker and public intellectual who currently serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He has discovered what are considered the first books by African-American writers, both of them women, and has published extensively on appreciating African-American literature as part of the Western canon.
In addition to producing and hosting previous series on the history and genealogy of prominent American figures, since 2012 Gates has been the host for three seasons of the series Finding Your Roots on PBS. It combines the work of expert researchers in genealogy, history, and genetics historic research to tell guests about their ancestors’ lives and histories.
“The first step toward tolerance is respect, and the first step toward respect is knowledge.”
“Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice.”
“Learning to sing one’s own songs, to trust the particular cadences of own’s voices, is also the goal of any writer.”
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