According to Biography.com:
Oscar Micheaux was an African-American filmmaker whose films were a challenge to segregation in both Hollywood and society in general. He wrote, produced and directed more than 45 films from 1919 to 1948.
Oscar Micheaux was born in Metropolis, Illinois, on January 2, 1884. He moved to Chicago at age 17, and worked there for five years before moving to South Dakota to farm and write. Micheaux’s experiences as a homesteader served as the subject matter for his novel The Homesteader. In 1919, he produced a film version of the novel, which was the first full-length feature produced by an African American. Micheaux continued to make films for the next three decades, until his death on March 25, 1951, in Charlotte, North Carolina.