Oscar Micheux was born on a farm near Metopolis, Illinois near the Ohio River in 1884. He was the first successful African-American independent film producer of the first half of the 20th Century. When Oscar was 16 he moved to Chicago and worked a hard job in the stockyards. He later produced 44 flms both silent and with sound that focused on characters of his race and he died in 1951. He is sometimes compared with modern-day movie maker Spike Lee because both were film pioneers. Oscar was honored with a special Golden Julbilee Award in 1986 by the Director's Guild of America and he has a space in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.