Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein
The very first film made by Oscar Micheaux, the most prolific black filmmaker of his time, The Homesteader was scripted by Micheaux himself and ostensibly based on his experiences as the only African-American farmer in Iowa. Funded in part by white Iowa farmers befriended by Micheaux, the film presented a melodramatic story of a black rancher, Baptiste (Charles D. Lucas), in love with a white girl, Agnes Stewart (Iris Hall). Their romance is disallowed by the girl's father (Charles R. Moore) and Baptiste goes back to his own kind. He married Orleans (Evelyn Preer), the innocent but weak daughter of a greedy minister (Vernon S. Duncan). The marriage, alas, is soon in ruins, with Orleans having gone insane from being jerked around by her father and even greedier sister (Inez Smith). She finally leaves Baptiste, who returns to the Dakotas only to discover that his first love isn't white at all. Evelyn Preer, later one of the most popular actresses in "all-colored" films, and Iris Hall both came from the well-known Lafayette Stock Company.
Low Budget, Low Production Values