Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951) was a writer, director, producer of more than 44 films between 1919 & 1948. His films dealt with the African American struggle for equality in a hostile world. His second film, Within Our Gates, is often considered his response to D.W. Griffith’s racist classic, Birth of a Nation. His film depicts lynchings & the rape of black women by white men in 1920. Micheaux’s movies were made by black filmmakers, with an all-black cast for black audiences. These projects were a reaction, and a necessity, to what was then a segregated Hollywood industry and a segregated society. Micheaux was definitely not afraid to stir up controversy and was a ground-breaking artist who paved the way for black directors to come.