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In accordance with the recent mandate from Oregon Governor Kate Brown, masks are required during Open-Air Cinema at OMSI. Masks continue to be required for all staff and visitors at the Portland Art Museum, including Venice VR Expanded.

Directed by Oscar Micheaux

United States 1939 74 mins.

In one of the legendary black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux’s final films, young black Harvard graduate Peter (Carman Newsome) seeks to establish a rural school, much to the chagrin of both his black and white neighbors. Micheaux spares little in his blunt portrayal of Southern racism, putting the idealistic Peter through the ringer of villainy and roadblock-upon-roadblock. Despite the hardships, Peter develops a sweet relationship with “the black Jean Harlow,” S.O. Moses, a well-known Harlem stage performer. In contrast with those who migrated north, Micheaux was a strong proponent of black rural life and fighting the racism of the South. The transparently autobiographical Birthright is one of dozens of “race films” Micheaux authored for the benefit of black audiences in the Jim Crow era.

Genres: Drama



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.