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The Academy Got It Wrong: Black Oscar Winners and the Roles They Should Have Won For

Photo of Jai Tiggett By Jai Tiggett | Shadow and Act February 28, 2014 at 10:30AM

In anticipation of the Academy Award ceremony this weekend, here’s a look back at the black actors who’ve taken home the Oscar, and which other roles they should have won for, if any.

Best Supporting Actress               


Hattie McDaniel Academy Award

Hattie McDaniel

Won for: Mammy, Gone with the Wind (1939)

Unfortunately, it's well known that during McDaniel's time, the few acting opportunities available to blacks were minor roles as servants. By the time McDaniel won the Oscar in 1939, she had played a maid, cook or servant in over 30 films.

Whoopi Goldberg

Won for: Oda Mae Brown, Ghost (1990)

Should have won for: Celie, The Color Purple (1985). She was actually nominated in the Best Actress category, an award that film critic Roger Ebert predicted she would win. Instead, the Oscar went to Geraldine Page for The Trip to Bountiful. Out of The Color Purple's 11 Academy Award nominations, the film didn't win any.

Jennifer Hudson

Won for: Effie White, Dreamgirls (2006)

We can't make a comparison here, since Dreamgirls was Hudson's debut film. There was also much chagrin about the former American Idol contestant beating out actresses like Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin and Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal. Still, Hudson's soul singing, soul-stirring performance as girl group member Effie White was strong enough to earn her the Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Image Award, and SAG Award in 2006.  


This article is related to: Academy Awards, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Sidney Poitier, Louis Gossett Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Morgan Freeman, Jamie Foxx, Octavia Spencer, Forest Whitaker, Cuba Gooding, Jennifer Hudson, Mo'Nique

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