Oscar Devereaux Micheaux was the first major black filmmaker in the United States. With no help from the white-owned film studios, this son of a Kentucky slave made 22 silent films and 15 talking pictures under his own company- the Micheaux Film and Book Company of Sioux City. The Metropolis, Illinois native, born only a handful of years after slavery in 1884, fought against the odds of a segregationist society and released a film version of the book The Homesteader in 1919. It was a major black first in film history.