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Building an Empire

J. Hoberman: Oscar Micheaux, 19 July 2001

Writing Himself into History: Oscar Micheaux, His Silent Films and His Audiences 
by Pearl Bowser and Louise Spence.
Rutgers, 280 pp., £38.95, August 2000, 0 8135 2803 8
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Straight Lick: The Cinema of Oscar Micheaux 
by J. Ronald Green.
Indiana, 368 pp., £21.95, August 2000, 0 253 33753 4
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... films that deal with the rape of black women and the lynching of black men. As Bowser and Spence suggest in Writing Himself into History, such candour was rare in the early African American cinema, where self-congratulatory accounts of racial progress were the rule. While Micheaux had intermittent problems with local censors, his career thrived during ...

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