103 Years Ago Today: Oscar Micheaux’s Within Our Gates

There’s this really cool site/project called NYC 1920 – a day by day archive of events in NYC exactly 100 years ago. It’s created and edited by a friend of mine, author/scholar/literature professor Jonathan Goldman, whom I met through the boisterous James-Joyce-fans/scholars-and-Modernists-fans-in-general community here in New York. Most entries in NYC 1920 are by Jonathan but he asked me to contribute. So I wrote about filmmaking pioneer Oscar Micheaux’s second film Within Our Gates, which began its 5 day run at the Lincoln Theatre in Harlem on this day. Micheaux had his own studio, he produced over 40 films (which he also wrote and directed), he was in charge of what he put out, he developed products, purchasing material and then developing it. The majority of his films are (sadly) lost.

Here’s my post on NYC 1920 about Micheaux’s Within Our Gates.

Definitely bookmark the site! It’s a pit stop I make every day since it’s laid out in calendar format, and Jonathan digs up the coolest stuff by scouring old newspaper clippings.

Thank you so much for stopping by. If you like what I do, and if you feel inclined to support my work, here’s a link to my Venmo account. And I’ve launched a Substack, Sheila Variations 2.0, if you’d like to subscribe.

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