Reincarnation Case of Oscar Micheaux | Spike Lee: African American Filmmakers portraying Race Relations in Two Lifetimes
Article by: Walter Semkiw, MD
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Micheaux: The Son of a Slave Becomes a Motion Picture Producer
Oscar Micheaux was born in 1887 in Illinois, the son of a slave who was likely owned by French immigrants. He is considered the first major African American filmmaker. Micheaux made silent movies and then transitioned to sound films, directing and producing 44 movies in all.
The focus of his work was racial issues between blacks and whites, covering the topics of racial injustice, lynching, mob violence and economic inequality.
Of interest, Micheaux, early in life moved to South Dakota, where he bought land and worked as a farmer. He wrote a novel, The Homesteader, which was in part based on his experiences in South Dakota. Homesteaders were people who were given free plots of land in the American West in an effort to develop the region.
Micheaux died in 1951.
Oscar Micheaux Reincarnates as Spike Lee, Who Propagates Movie Making to make a Difference
Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1957. Like Micheaux, Lee’s movies center around race relations, including the issues of poverty, urban crime and the politics of race.
In a very interesting parallel, Spike Lee named his production company 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, which appears to be an unconscious reference to his own past life as Micheaux, who bought land in South Dakota and became a farmer prior to embarking on his career as a filmmaker.
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Physical Resemblance in Reincarnation Cases: There is a similarity of facial features between Oscar and Spike.
Past Life Passions, Talent and Abilities: Spike Lee is continuing the work of Oscar Micheaux in making movies centered on racial injustice.