Alice B. Russell Micheaux Headstone

$1,945 of $1,750 goal

Raised by 47 people in 2 months
Alice B. Russell Micheaux was a pioneering film actress and film producer, as well as the widow of Oscar Micheaux, renowned African American filmmaker, and both were active during the silent era through the 1940s.  Amazing! Yet unfortunately,  Alice spent her final years as a ward of the state suffering from dementia, and was buried in 1985 in an unmarked pauper’s grave at the Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye, New York.  Our cover image shows a Christmas wreath  marking the spot where a headstone should be. The image below shows Alice's burial plot circled in red.

Let's place a headstone at Alice’s currently unmarked grave. Women's contributions to film have been undervalued too often and while the full scope of Alice's role as Oscar's collaborator may never be fully recovered from an imperfect archive, we can honor what we do know now.

Alice Micheaux performed in The Broken Violin (1927), and in Oscar's films including Murder in Harlem (1935), God's Step Children  (1938) and The Betrayal (1948).  Alice collaborated with her husband as script supervisor and casting associate on Lying Lips (1939) and miscellaneous crew on Swing! (1938), Murder in Harlem (1935), Ten Minutes to Live (1932) and The Girl from Chicago (1932).  

An intriguing 1948 letter Alice wrote to her sister Ethel describes "help" she provided to Oscar when she accompanied him to Chicago to work on a "big picture."  And it also intimates the sheer multiplicity and relentlessness of the creative, domestic, technical, and business tasks she contributed to her husband as he suffered from arthritis "all over his body,"  which left his hands "slightly swollen." Alice's labor encompassed personal caretaking for the "restless" director as well as performing, casting, working on the crew, and script advising--work she did under the name A. Burton Russell. 

Knowing her story we cannot rest until our sister in cinema, Alice, our ancestor, is at rest too, honored with a proper headstone and ceremony to recognize her life and status as a pioneering woman of African American cinema.

We are raising $1750 to commission a headstone from DeNigris Monuments and hold a dedication ceremony at Alice's grave site. The amount of $1430 includes the cost of the stone, engraving, installation, and cemetery fees. We plan to purchase flowers and hire musicians for the dedication ceremony.  GoFundMe costs 7.9% plus $0.30 per donation for the platform and payment processing.

Administrative responsibilites for this campaign will be shared among the Alice Micheaux Headstone Committee, which consists of Terri Francis film scholar, Brian Graney film archivist, and Lina Accurso, custodian of Alice's grave (who alerted us to this situation). We will make sure that funds go to DeNigris and we will plan a proper memorial for Alice. 

The dedication will take place April 11, 2018 at 11AM in Rye, New York before the evening program of the Orphans Film Symposium whose theme this year is LOVE. We hope you can join us in Rye. We'll update you as plans come together. The alternate date we can use in case the ground is too hard for pouring the foundation and setting the stone will be June 30, 2018, Alice's birthday.
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Hello Everyone,

De Nigris Inc. sent us the proof for Alice B. Russell Micheaux's marker this morning. Lina, as the custodian of the grave site, selected the stone and wrote the epitaph.

Thanks to all of you for your support.

Join us April 11, 2018 at 11AM at Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye, NY for a meaningful remembrance of Mrs. Micheaux's life and her vital contributions to early African American cinema as a producer, actress, script supervisor, and spouse to Oscar Micheaux.


Abide with Me, perf. Thelonious Monk
Credit Sequence, Girl From Chicago, 1932
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Hi Everyone!

Quick note to confirm that our $500 payment was received at DeNigris Inc. and a proof of the stone marker will be ready to review soon. Sending the remaining $695 now.

Attached is the updated invoice and a shot of the email confirmation.

Our visitation of Alice Micheaux's grave is planned for April 11 at 11AM in Greenwood Union Cemetery, Rye, NY.


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Dear Friends of Alice,

Great job everyone! We got all the money we need for Alice B. Russell Micheaux's headstone.

I'm sending off our first payment of $500 to DeNigris Inc. It'll be delivered January 16th. Attached is Bank of America's confirmation notice. Will post confirmation of delivery.

More soon!

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As of now 12:30PM on 12/27/17 we are $95 shy of the $1430 needed for the stone and foundation for Alice B. Russell's marker.

Sooooooo close!
So close! We need $95 for the headstone.
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$1,945 of $1,750 goal

Raised by 47 people in 2 months
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