The Harlem Renaissance brought into light many artists, filmmakers, and activists for the rights of African Americans. One filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux, became the first black producer for all his films, without the help from white people. He is an important face in the movement, because he brought into the light the racism and segregation in society
Micheaux was influenced by childhood and by the diverse culture that lived in Sioux City. He influenced other filmmakers such as Spike Lee, John Singleton, and Melvin VanPeebles. He helped break stereotypes and empowered African Americans.
Oscar Micheaux's films were known as "race" films because they were made by black people for the black community. His projects were a call to action to the violence many African Americans experienced. His films were also a necessity because it derived the line in diversity, especially in a segregated society. He addresses issues hidden from the eyes of many, and exposed the reality of being slaves.
One of Micheaux's famous film was "Within Our Gates" attacked racisms portrayed in other various films, one including "The Birth of a Nation." He "took on controversial subjects in the black community, including interracial romance, skin color hypocrisy and corrupt clergymen." His making of complex films made him the most successful black writer, producer and filmmaker.
Critic J. Hoberman critiqued Micheaux stating his films are he worst and are objective badness. "His camera ground relentlessly on while the key light wandered, traffic noise obliterated the dialogue, or a sound man’s arm intruded upon the frame. Actors blew their cues, recovered and continued." Multiple negative comments of Micheaux and his ability to produce films. He explains how the longer the film, the worst it got. “He sold illusions to inspire others, while living a hard-luck life of heartbreak and disappointment himself.” Hoberman was unimpressed and uninterested in Micheaux and what he had to offer.