Within Our Gates

Within Our Gates

A film by Oscar Micheaux

The earliest surviving African-American directed feature film, the sole print of this superb race film was discovered in Spain and painstakingly restored by the Library of Congress in 1993.

The emotionally powerful story centers around a black schoolteacher who finds the battle against racism is everywhere when she goes North to raise money for better schools. Seen as a response to D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, the film portrays the contemporary racial situation in the United States during the early twentieth century—the years of Jim Crow, the revival of the Ku Klux Klan, the Great Migration of blacks to cities of the North and Midwest, and the emergence of the “New Negro”. Shot mostly in Chicago!

Print courtesy of the Library of Congress.


Technical Information

Production Year
Running Time
79 mins

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