Oscar Micheaux - the most prolific African-American filmmaker to date and a filmmaking giant of the silent era - has finally found his rightful place in film history. Both artist and showman, Micheaux stirred controversy in his time as he confronted issues such as lynching, miscegenation, peonage and white supremacy, passing and corruption among black clergymen. He emphasised the importance of education and the rights of citizenship (the vote, equal protection under the law) for racial uplift, to advance race progress, to awaken black consciousness and to correct negative behaviour within black communities. These films spoke to black movie-goers in ways that were completely different from Hollywood pictures. In this important new collection, prominent scholars examine Micheaux's surviving silent films, his fellow producers of race films who alternately challenged or emulated his methods and the cultural activities that surrounded and sustained these achievements. Authors examine Micheaux's films from a range of perspectives, including his radical aesthetic strategies, his use of stereotypes, his powerful critiques of Griffith's Birth of a Nation and Eugene O'Neill's race plays, his radical use of other texts and his work with such genres as the Western. The relationship between black film and both the stage and the black press, issues of underdevelopment and the genealogy of Micheaux scholarship as well as extensive and more accurate filmographies, give a richly textured portrait of the era. The essays will fascinate scholars of in film studies, cultural studies and African American history.