Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Watch Mekhi Phifer in Trailer for "First-Person Shooter" Zombie Thriller, 'Pandemic' Watch Mekhi Phifer in Trailer for "First-Person Shooter" Zombie Thriller, 'Pandemic' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

The First-Ever Academy Awards Were Handed Out Today... How Have Blacks Fared Since Then?

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 16, 2011 at 5:36AM

Today in history... May 16th, 1929... the first Academy Awards, the Oscars, were presented at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel; Wings won the award for Best Picture; Emil Jannings for Best Actor; and Janet Gaynor for Best Actress.
6

Today in history... May 16th, 1929... the first Academy Awards, the Oscars, were presented at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel; Wings won the award for Best Picture; Emil Jannings for Best Actor; and Janet Gaynor for Best Actress.

Since that beginning, we've seen roughly 160 to 180 black actors nominated in every category (not just the majors); to put that in some perspective, in the ceremony's 83 year history, there have been a total of at least 8300 nominees, in all categories. I'm basing that on the fact that there currently are about 25 different categories, with at least 4 nominees in each category (yes I know that wasn't always the case, especially early on, but for much of the award's history, going back to the 30s, there have been about 20 to 26 categories).

So, of the 8300+ nominees in Oscar history, about 2% have been people of African descent.

And of the 160 to 180 folks who were nominated, about 26 actually won! or about 1 win every 3 years on average, right?

Looking ahead to next year's ceremony, which will award this year's performance, it looks like Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in The Help presents the best chance for an African American to win an award in any of the major or "minor" categories. At least, based on the information that's available to me right now.

Looking further ahead... who knows...

This article is related to: Today In History


Shadow & ActNewsletter