NEW YORK CITY — Film director, screenwriter, producer and distributor Oscar Micheaux, who illuminated the African–American experience through more than 40 feature films, was immortalized on a U.S. postage stamp today, taking his place as the 33rd person honored in the popular Black Heritage commemorative stamp series.
Micheaux’s unique storytelling ability shattered stereotypes and challenged film audiences with realistic representations of African–Americans. The stamp was dedicated today at a ceremony in Miller Auditorium at Columbia University.
“Oscar Micheaux was a transformational filmmaker and gifted storyteller with an uncompromising technique that embraced honest depictions of African–Americans,” said Delores Killette, vice president and Consumer Advocate for the U.S. Postal Service. “His films not only entertained, they left audiences with a sense of encouragement, hope and inspiration.”
Joining Killette at the event were Wycliffe Gordon, jazz musician and leader of the Wycliffe Gordon Quartet; Melvin Van Peebles, film director; Lisa Collins, producer, Right on Time Productions; Jamel Joseph, chair, Film Department, Columbia University; and Geoffrey Fletcher, Adjunct Faculty of Film, Columbia University School of the Arts. Other events taking place in New York City to recognize the issuance of the Oscar Micheaux commemorative stamp will be held at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building on June 23 and at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn on June 24.
The stamp is designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, and features a stylized portrait of Oscar Micheaux by artist Gary Kelly of Cedar Falls, IA. The artwork is based on one of the few surviving photographs of Micheaux, a portrait that appeared in his 1913 novel The Conquest.
All 33 stamp designs in the Black Heritage commemorative series can be viewed online at http://beyondtheperf.com/.
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