Join Dr. Chris Stacey for our "Topics in Chicago History" virtual lecture and discussion series on Zoom.
Wednesday, July 22nd 6:30pm: History of Chicago: Race Films, Oscar Micheaux, and "Within Our Gates"
This lecture is open to all members of the Chicago Columbia alumni community. All participants will be unmuted throughout the evening's presentation so we can engage in maximum participation on the topic. Registrants should watch the film “Within Our Gates” and they are being sent a set of discussion questions.
Topic Preview: A concise presentation about Chicago’s Black Belt movie theaters, moviegoing the in Black Metropolis, early African American filmmaking and the early films of Oscar Devereaux Micheaux followed by a participatory discussion on the silent film Within Our Gates. Oscar Micheaux worked in Chicago’s stockyards, steel mills and as a Pullman Porter. From 1918-1948 he produced, directed, and wrote 27 silent and 17 sound films. The Black Metropolis shaped his cinematic vision to create an innovative New Negro Aesthetic.
Within Our Gates, a scathing criticism of American racism, is Micheaux’s response to Birth of a Nation (1915), the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, Black patriotism, and the complexities of biracial identity, and the attempt to define and represent Black American identity during a period of intense racial antagonism. The film was controversial in 1920 for its portrayals of “unspeakable white crimes” – rape, lynching, media misrepresentation – and “disgraceful Black betrayals” – dishonest relatives, urban criminals, and false religious leaders. The emphasis on this evening’s event is to discuss the film with audience members. A link to the film is provided below and Dr. Stacey will email registrants with a set of questions to consider for the discussion.
Date: Wednesday, July 22
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Zoom: Link for Zoom and topic materials sent to all registrants