1. Hattie McDaniel
In 1940, McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Oscar. Hattie was also the first Black actress to win Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘Gone With The Wind’ as Mammy, a stereotypical maid. McDaniel accepted the award at a segregated hotel in LA where she had to sit at a table for two way in the back.
2. Louis Gossett Jr.
Gossett Jr. was the first Black actor to win a Best Supporting Actor award, for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in ‘An Officer and a Gentleman.’
3. Sidney Poitier
In 1964, Poitier became the first Black actor to win a Best Actor award for his role ‘Lillies of the Field’ as Horner Smith, a struggling handyman.
4. Forest Whitaker
Whitaker took home a Best Actor award for his role as the unruly Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the biopic ‘The Last King of Scotland.’
5. Halle Berry
Halle Berry continues to be the only Black actress to take home the Best Actress award for her role as Leticia Musgrove, a struggling single Black mother, in the 2001 film ‘Monster’s Ball.’
6. Whoopi Goldberg
As the second Black actress to win the award, Goldberg earned Best Supporting Actress for her role as Oda Mae Brown, a sassy “spiritual advisor” in the 1990 classic ‘Ghost.’
7. Cuba Gooding Jr.
In 1996, Cuba Gooding Jr. became the youngest Black actor to win Best Supporting Actor for his role as the egotistical football player Rod Tidwell in ‘Jerry Maguire.’
8. Denzel Washington
Denzel is the only Black actor to boast two Academy Awards. His first win was for Best Supporting Actor in 1989 for his role in ‘Glory’ as a slave. His second was for Best Actor for his role as corrupt detective Alonzo Harris in the 2001 drama ‘Training Day.’ Meanwhile, Denzel has held endless roles as the hero. Interesting.
9. Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx’s portrayal of musical icon Ray Charles in the biopic ‘Ray’ earned him a Best Actor award in 2005. The honor made him the first Black actor to win for a musical.
Mo’Nique won the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in ‘Precious’ as Mary Lee Johnson, a drug addict that sexually abused her daughter. SMH.
11. Morgan Freeman
In 2004, Morgan Freeman won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role as Eddie “Scrap-Iron” Dupris in ‘Million Dollar Baby.’ At the time of his win, Freeman was 67 which made him the oldest Black actor to earn the award.
12. Lupita Nyong’o
Lupita Nyong’o earned the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in ’12 Years a Slave’ as Patsey. You know how much The Academy loves a slave narrative. *eye roll*
13. Jennifer Hudson
Hudson’s big-screen debut as Effie White in ‘Dreamgirls’ earned her a Best Supporting Actress award. Although the Oscar win was the first for a Black actress in a musical film, Hudson’s character was a TOTAL diva and a stereotypical single Black mother.