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by Betti Carol VanEpps-Taylor

Published by Dakota West Books

Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951) produced a total of seven novels and over forty films during his long and successful career. His place in history is primarily secure as the first African-American to produce feature-length films.
Micheaux left home from southern Illinois at age seventeen and worked at a variety of jobs in Chicago. He finally secured a position as a Pullman porter which allowed him ample funds for a step forward. In South Dakota in 1904, Micheaux decided to seek a homestead in the newly opened territory on the eastern edge of the Rosebud Indian Reservation. This Dakota homesteading experience provided the basis for his autobiographical novels, The Conquest (1913), The Homesteader (1917), and The Wind From Nowhere (1944). These texts provided Micheaux the opportunity to advance his philosophy based on the experiences and dreams of middle class African Americans. As an advocate of the self-help philosophy of Booker T. Washington, he saw no barriers preventing African Americans from achieving success if they persevered.
The success of his novels led to Micheaux’s production of movies. The Homesteader became the subject for Micheaux’s first film release in 1919. He returned his South Dakota roots repeatedly, rewriting earlier stories and creating new films such as The Exile (1931) and The Betrayal (1948). His film career cannot be understood without examination of his early formative experiences and efforts to become successful through settlement in South Dakota.
Betti VanEpps-Taylor’s biography of Micheaux places his life and philosophy in context and provides an objective assessment of his work. Readers who want to understand Micheaux and his important role as author and film-maker will find this intriguing biography the place to begin.

Proceeds from the sales will be contributed to the South Dakota African American Museum.

Price: $9.95

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All sales are final. Damaged books will be replaced. No returned book policy in place. Shipping costs of $10 per book/video will be applied during checkout. The South Dakota sales tax rate of 6.5% applies for South Dakota residents.