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Pioneer African-American Filmmaker Immortalized On Stamps

What:
First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony of the Oscar Micheaux 44-cent Commemorative First-Class stamps. The event is free and open to the public.

When:
11:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Where:
Columbia University School of the Arts

Miller Theatre

2960 Broadway & 116th Street

New York, NY 10199-6950

Who:
Wycliffe Gordon, Jazz Trombonist

Voza Rivers, Chairman, Harlem Arts Alliance

Jamal Joseph, Chairman, Film Department, Columbia University



Background:
The 33rd stamp in the Black Heritage series honors pio­neering filmmaker Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951) wrote, directed, produced, and distributed more than 40 movies during the first half of the 20th century. An ambitious, larger-than-life figure, Micheaux thrived at a time when African-American filmmakers were rare, venues for their work were scarce, and support from the industry did not exist. Micheaux’ entrepreneurial spirit and independent vision continue to inspire new generations of filmmakers and artists.

 

Forgotten after his death, Micheaux was rediscovered in the late 1960s by South Dakota historians and in the 1970s by film historians interested in early black cinema. Although only 15 of his movies are known to have survived in whole or in part, Micheaux has become a cinematic icon. In 1986, he was posthumously awarded a special Directors Guild of America award. In 1995, the Producers Guild of America established the Oscar Micheaux Award to honor “an individual or individuals whose achievements in film and television have been accomplished despite difficult odds.”

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