A Timeline Of Historic Black Oscar Winners: From Sidney Poitier And Whoopi Goldberg To Peter Ramsey
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BHM

A Timeline Of Historic Black Oscar Winners: From Sidney Poitier And Whoopi Goldberg To Peter Ramsey

The Oscars are still striving for racial parity after the viral #OscarsSoWhite movement. There's still a long way for the Academy to go, but Black actors have worked towards representation with or without the Academy's help. Here's how Black actors have paved the way for future Black Oscar winners.

1939: Hattie McDaniel became the first Black actor, man or woman, to be nominated for and win an Oscar when she won for her supporting role in Gone with the Wind.

1963: Sidney Poitier is the first African-American and first Bahamian to win the Oscar for Best Actor for Lilies of the Field. He also became the first Black actor to earn two acting nominations, for Lilies and for 1958's The Defiant Ones. Poitier also became the youngest actor to win in the Best Actor category at the age of 37.

1982: Louis Gossett Jr. becomes the first African-American to win Best Supporting Actor for An Officer and a Gentleman.

1989: Denzel Washington won Best Supporting Actor for Glory, and became the first Black actor to receive two Best Supporting Actor nominations in the same year. The other film Washington was nominated for is Cry Freedom.

1990: Whoopi Goldberg becomes the first Black American to receive two acting nominations and becomes the second African-American woman to win for Best Supporting Actress for Ghost. 

1996: Cuba Gooding Jr. becomes the youngest Black actor to win an Oscar at the age of 29. Gooding won for his supporting role in Jerry Maguire. He will eventually be surpassed by Jennifer Hudson.

2001: Denzel Washington and Halle Berry made history for becoming the first two Black actors to win leading role Oscars in the same year. Washington won for his leading role in Training Day and Berry won for her leading role in Monster's Ball. Berry also became the first Black actress to win in the Best Actress category. Washington's win earned him the honor of becoming the first African-American actor to win both multiple Oscars and Oscars in both leading and supporting categories.

2004: Jamie Foxx became the first Black person to receive two acting nominations in two different categories. Foxx won for his leading role in Ray, and was nominated for his supporting role in Collateral. Also that year, Morgan Freeman became the oldest Black actor to win an Oscar at the age of 67. Freeman won an Oscar for his supporting role in Million Dollar Baby. 

2006: Forest Whitaker won Best Actor for The Last King of Scotland and Jennifer Hudson became the youngest African-American to win an Oscar at age 25 for her supporting role in Dreamgirls, beating out Gooding's former record. Dreamgirls also became the first nominated film to feature Black nominees for Best Supporting Actress (Hudson) and Best Supporting Actor (Eddie Murphy).

2009: Mo'Nique wins the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Precious. 

2011: Octavia Spencer wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Help. 

2013: Lupita Nyong'o becomes the first Black African to be nominated and win in any Oscar category. The role that helped her make history is her role in 12 Years a Slave. 

2016: Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis make history as the first Black actors to win Best Supporting Oscars in the same year. Davis won for her role in Fences, and Ali won for his role in Moonlight. 

2018: Ali made history again by becoming the first Black actor to win two Oscars in the same category. Ali won in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in the controversial Green Book. Regina King was also nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk, making it the second time Black actors won in the supporting categories. Peter Ramsey also made history as the co-director of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Ramsey became the first African-American to be nominated and win in the Best Animated Feature category.