Within Our Gates

Within Our Gates

Within Our Gates is a 1920 American silent film by the director Oscar Micheaux that 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". It was part of a genre called race films.


The film opens with Sylvia Landry (Evelyn Preer), a young African-American woman, visiting her cousin Alma in the North. Landry is waiting for the return of Conrad as they plan to marry. Alma also loves Conrad. Larry, Alma's step brother, attempts to woo Sylvia but is rebuffed. Larry kills a professional gambler during a game of poker. Alma arranges for Sylvia to be caught in a compromising situation by Conrad when he returns. Conrad begins to strangle Sylvia but is stopped by Alma. Conrad leaves for Brazil. Sylvia returns to the South.