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Black History Month: The greatest films by black directors that reshaped cinema

Yardbarker Logo By Hashim R. Hathaway of Yardbarker | Slide 1 of 31: In 1920 director Oscar Micheaux took a risk in producing an answer to D.W. Griffith's "Birth of a Nation" with his debut film, "Within Our Gates." He also became the first black man to helm a feature film, earning him a place in history as a true trailblazer. Some 100 years after the release of "Within Our Gates," black filmmakers continue to make a mark in the annals of film history. For so long, black directors have been largely left out when discussing great movies, even though they've always been there, some in plain sight and others waiting to be discovered. In honor of a century of black filmmaking, here is our list of the 30 greatest films by black directors.

Respect where it's due

In 1920 director Oscar Micheaux took a risk in producing an answer to D.W. Griffith's "Birth of a Nation" with his debut film, "Within Our Gates." He also became the first black man to helm a feature film, earning him a place in history as a true trailblazer. Some 100 years after the release of "Within Our Gates," black filmmakers continue to make a mark in the annals of film history. For so long, black directors have been largely left out when discussing great movies, even though they've always been there, some in plain sight and others waiting to be discovered. In honor of a century of black filmmaking, here is our list of the 30 greatest films by black directors.

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A note to MSN readers: You can take part in Black History Month and make a positive impact. At Microsoft News, we are highlighting the work of two nonprofit organizations, Black Girls Code and The Accion US Network, that are working to build brighter futures through technology and business ownership. We invite our readers to join us by making a donation to support future African-American leaders. Learn more here.

 
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