Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Everything Else You've Wanted to Know About 'The Wire' - Cast Reunites for Hour-Long Chat Watch: Everything Else You've Wanted to Know About 'The Wire' - Cast Reunites for Hour-Long Chat TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down Donald Glover Adds to Growing Film Slate - Joins Cast of Ridley Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Martian' Donald Glover Adds to Growing Film Slate - Joins Cast of Ridley Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Martian' It All Started at a BSU Meeting: Justin Simien on 'Dear White People', Raven-Symoné, and the Black Art House (Interview) It All Started at a BSU Meeting: Justin Simien on 'Dear White People', Raven-Symoné, and the Black Art House (Interview) Review: 'Dear White People' (A Cinematic Answer to the Year of the "Race-Themed" Film) Review: 'Dear White People' (A Cinematic Answer to the Year of the "Race-Themed" Film) The Cast of 'Drumline: A New Beat' Talk How the Original Movie Impacted Them The Cast of 'Drumline: A New Beat' Talk How the Original Movie Impacted Them Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Steve McQueen Goes With Newcomer Devon Terrell to Play the Lead in His HBO Project Steve McQueen Goes With Newcomer Devon Terrell to Play the Lead in His HBO Project In Wake of 'Gotham' Controversy Comes 'Painted Down' - New Doc Chronicling Struggles & Hard Fought Victories of Black Stunt People In Wake of 'Gotham' Controversy Comes 'Painted Down' - New Doc Chronicling Struggles & Hard Fought Victories of Black Stunt People 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series 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