Within Our Gates is a 1920 silent race film that dramatically depicts the racial situation in America during the violent years of Jim Crow, the Klan, the Great Migration, and the emergence of the "New Negro." The story focuses on an African-American woman who goes North in an effort to help a minister in the Deep South raise money to keep a school open for poor Black children. Her romance with a black doctor eventually leads to revelations about her family's past that expose the racial skeletons in America's closet, most famously through the film's depiction of the injustice of lynching. Produced, written and directed by novelist Oscar Micheaux, it is the oldest known surviving film made by an African-American director. The film, which was written and directed by Micheaux, stars Evelyn Preer, Flo Clements, James D. Ruffin, Jack Chenault, William Smith and Charles D. Lucas.
Not seen for seventy-five years, a single print of the film, entitled La Negra was found in Spain. A brief sequence in the middle of the film was lost. Only four of the original titles survived, the rest having been removed for translation. In 1993, the Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center restored the film as close to the original as possible. The Spanish titles were retranslated into English by Gene DeAnna. He removed explanatory material which had been added and reproduced the style which Micheaux used in his books. The missing sequence was summarized with an intertitle frame.