Oscar-winning Black Actors
The Oscars have frequently come under fire for the lack of racial diversity amongst its nominees and winners, particularly in the acting categories, an argument that came to a head during the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in 2015 and 2016, when not a single actor of color was nominated in any of the top four acting categories. 2017 presented a far more diverse story as several black actors were nominated.
Those who have been fortunate enough to win are members of an extremely select group, as only 14 black actors have won acting awards in the 89-year history of the Oscars. Hattie McDaniel was the first to win an acting Oscar for her supporting role in 1939’s “Gone with the Wind,” while Lupita Nyong’o is the most recent for her performance in “12 Years a Slave.” To date, only one actress has won in the lead category: Halle Berry for her performance in 2001’s “Monster’s Ball.”
Click through our photo gallery of every black performer to win an acting Oscar.
– By Tony Ruiz