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The Conquest: The Story of a Negro Pioneer: The Givens Collection

Oscar Micheaux

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ISBN 10: 0743460588 / ISBN 13: 9780743460583
Published by Washington Square Press, 2003
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Conquest: The Story of a Negro Pioneer: ...

Publisher: Washington Square Press

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title


The Conquest, published in 1913, is the first of seven novels written by Oscar Micheaux, better known as a prolific pioneer African-American filmmaker. This novel, along with two that followed, The Forged Note in 1915 and The Homesteader in 1917, mirrors Micheaux's experience as a black pioneer of the American West. The son of former slaves, his family had settled in Kansas as a part of the Exoduster movement in the post-Reconstruction era.

Micheaux tells the story of a brave homesteader, Oscar Devereaux, whose dream is to tame 1,000 acres of land and establish himself as an example of success for his people; hence, The Conquest. He secures the land but is overwhelmed by his struggles with drought, loneliness, and a troubled marriage.

Recently "rediscovered" as an important figure in the history of Hollywood filmmaking, Micheaux is being newly appreciated as well for his skills as a novelist. The reissue of The Conquest, including an introduction by Professor Jayna J. Brown, reacquaints us with his work and puts his groundbreaking career in context for a new generation of readers.

From the Back Cover:

The novel portrays the aspirations and struggles of a black homesteader named Oscar Devereaux. Born on a small farm near Cairo, Illinois, one of thirteen children, Devereaux leaves home to work in the Chicago stockyards and finally graduates to the job of porter in a Pullman railway car. He is persoable, industrious, and frugal with a purpose. After saving $2,500, Devereaux goes to South Dakota and buys land. His object is not speculation for quick profit but the cultivation of property he can call his own. He plows and sows and sweats, and by the age of twenty-five has reaped an estate worth $20,000. Success is sweet, self-respect is sweeter. But if the calamities he is exposed to as a homesteader are severe, so are those brought on by marriage to the passive daughter of a dominating preacher.

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