In honor of Black History Month, “X1023” is recognizing heroes and role models who’ve made a difference in America.

Independent filmmaker Oscar Micheaux is a movie pioneer.

Micheaux, a son of former slaves, went on to become the first black man to produce a feature length film and his production company produced 44 movies. He featured black lawyers and school teachers instead of the usual black stereotypes in cinema of that era and his films were some of the first to deal with racial inequities in America.

Racism within the industry barred him from stepping foot in Hollywood, but he was finally honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1987.