Date(s) - 02/26/2017
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
This Black History Month, we chose a film that encompasses both Black history AND film history!
Oscar Micheaux was the first major African American director and producer, whose filmography includes more than 40 films. Within Our Gates, in particular, is also the earliest surviving film by a Black filmmaker.
Released in 1920, this silent film was Micheaux’s way of exploring the widespread instability that followed World War I.
Within the film, Micheaux depicts educated and professional people in black society as light-skinned, representing the elite status of some of the mixed-race people who comprised the majority of African Americans freed before the Civil War. Poor people are represented as dark-skinned with more undiluted African ancestry. It contrasted the experiences for African Americans who stayed in rural areas and others who had migrated to cities and become urbanized. Micheaux explored the suffering of African Americans in the present day, without explaining how the situation arose in history.
Some feared that this film would cause even more unrest within society, and others believed it would open the public’s eyes to the unjust treatment by of blacks by whites. Protests against the film continued until the day it was released. Because of its controversial status, the film was banned from some theaters.
He dealt with racial relationships between blacks and whites, and the challenges for blacks when trying to achieve success in the larger society. Micheaux films were used to oppose and discuss the racial injustice that African Americans received. Topics such as lynching, job discrimination, rape, mob violence, and economic exploitation were depicted in his films. (from wikipedia)
Doors at 6:30, film at 7pm. $5 donation recommended, but NOTAFLOF. Free snacks and popcorn!