List of black Academy Award winners and nominees

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Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Academy Award.

This list of black Academy Award winners and nominees is current as of the 88th Academy Awards ceremony held on February 28, 2016.

Best Actor in a Leading Role[edit]

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Year Name Film Role Status Milestone
1958 Sidney Poitier The Defiant Ones Noah Cullen Nominated First African-American actor to be nominated for Best Actor.
1963 Lilies of the Field Homer Smith Won First black male to win an Oscar.
First African-American actor to win Best Actor.
First African-American actor to receive two acting nominations (Best Actor).
Youngest African-American actor to win Best Actor (age 37).
1970 James Earl Jones The Great White Hope Jack Jefferson Nominated
1972 Paul Winfield Sounder Nathan Lee Morgan Nominated First film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
1986 Dexter Gordon Round Midnight Dale Turner Nominated First jazz musician to be nominated for Best Actor.
1989 Morgan Freeman Driving Miss Daisy Hoke Colburn Nominated
1992 Denzel Washington Malcolm X Malcolm X Nominated
1993 Laurence Fishburne What's Love Got to Do with It Ike Turner Nominated Second film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
1994 Morgan Freeman The Shawshank Redemption Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding Nominated
1999 Denzel Washington The Hurricane Rubin Carter Nominated
2001 Training Day Alonzo Harris Won Second African-American actor to receive the award for Best Actor.
First time two African-American performers won in leading role Oscars in the same year (Halle Berry, Monster's Ball).
Will Smith Ali Muhammad Ali Nominated First time multiple African-American actors received Best Actor nominations.
2004 Jamie Foxx Ray Ray Charles Won First African-American actor to receive two acting nominations in the same year.
Don Cheadle Hotel Rwanda Paul Rusesabagina Nominated
2005 Terrence Howard Hustle & Flow DJay Nominated
2006 Forest Whitaker The Last King of Scotland Idi Amin Won
Will Smith The Pursuit of Happyness Chris Gardner Nominated
2009 Morgan Freeman Invictus Nelson Mandela Nominated
2012 Denzel Washington Flight William "Whip" Whitaker Nominated Denzel Washington has the most nominations for an African-American Actor: Best Actor (4 nominations) and Best Supporting Actor (2 nominations).
2013 Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a Slave Solomon Northup Nominated First black British actor to be nominated for Best Actor.

Best Actress in a Leading Role[edit]

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Year Name Film Role Status Milestone
1954 Dorothy Dandridge Carmen Jones Carmen Jones Nominated First African-American actress to be nominated for Best Actress.
1972 Diana Ross Lady Sings the Blues Billie Holiday Nominated First African-American actress to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.
First time multiple African-American actresses received Best Actress nominations.
Cicely Tyson Sounder Rebecca Morgan Nominated First film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
First time multiple African-American actresses received Best Actress nominations.
1974 Diahann Carroll Claudine Claudine Nominated
1985 Whoopi Goldberg The Color Purple Celie Johnson Nominated First time multiple African-American actresses received nominations for the same film.
1993 Angela Bassett What's Love Got to Do with It Tina Turner Nominated Second film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
2001 Halle Berry Monster's Ball Leticia Musgrove Won First African-American actress to win Best Actress.
First time two African-American performers won in leading role Oscars in the same year (Denzel Washington, Training Day).
2009 Gabourey Sidibe Precious Claireece "Precious" Jones Nominated Second film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
Second African-American actress to receive a lead Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.
2011 Viola Davis The Help Aibileen Clark Nominated Third film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actress and Supporting Actress categories.
Tied with Whoopi Goldberg as the most nominated African-American actress with 2 nominations.
2012 Quvenzhané Wallis Beasts of the Southern Wild Hushpuppy Nominated Youngest ever Best Actress nominee (aged 9).
Third African-American actress to receive a lead Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role[edit]

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Year Name Film Role Status Milestone
1969 Rupert Crosse The Reivers Ned Nominated First African-American actor to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
1981 Howard Rollins Ragtime Coalhouse Walker Jr. Nominated
1982 Louis Gossett, Jr. An Officer and a Gentleman Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley Won First African-American actor to win Best Supporting Actor.
1984 Adolph Caesar A Soldier's Story Sgt. Waters Nominated
1987 Morgan Freeman Street Smart Fast Black Nominated First time multiple African-American actors received Best Supporting Actor nominations.
Denzel Washington Cry Freedom Steve Biko Nominated
1989 Glory Pvt. Trip Won First African-American actor to receive two Best Supporting Actor nominations.
1992 Jaye Davidson The Crying Game Dil Nominated First black actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.
Youngest black actor to receive an Academy Award nomination (age 24)
First black British actor to receive an Academy Award nomination.
1994 Samuel L. Jackson Pulp Fiction Jules Winnfield Nominated
1996 Cuba Gooding, Jr. Jerry Maguire Rod Tidwell Won Youngest African-American male actor to win an Academy Award (age 29).
1999 Michael Clarke Duncan The Green Mile John Coffey Nominated
2003 Djimon Hounsou In America Mateo Nominated First black actor born in Africa (specifically in Benin) to receive an Academy Award nomination.
2004 Morgan Freeman Million Dollar Baby Eddie 'Scrap-Iron' Dupris Won Oldest African-American actor to win an Academy Award (age 67).
Jamie Foxx Collateral Max Nominated First African-American actor to receive two acting nominations in the same year.
2006 Djimon Hounsou Blood Diamond Solomon Vandy Nominated
Eddie Murphy Dreamgirls James 'Thunder' Early Nominated First film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
2013 Barkhad Abdi Captain Phillips Abduwali Muse Nominated Second black actor born in Africa (specifically in Somalia) to receive an Academy Award nomination.
Second black actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut performance.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role[edit]

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Year Name Film Role Status Milestone
1939 Hattie McDaniel Gone with the Wind Mammy Won First African-American to win an Academy Award.
First African-American to be nominated for acting.
1949 Ethel Waters Pinky Mrs. Dicey Johnson (Pinky's Granny) Nominated Second African-American person to be nominated for an Academy Award.
1959 Juanita Moore Imitation of Life Annie Johnson Nominated
1967 Beah Richards Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Mrs. Prentice Nominated If Carol Channing's claim of African-American heritage is accurate (it was not known at the time and has not been independently confirmed), this would be the first time multiple African-American actresses received Best Supporting Actress nominations
1983 Alfre Woodard Cross Creek Geechee Nominated
1985 Margaret Avery The Color Purple Shug Avery Nominated First (or second, see Beah Richards above) time multiple African-American actresses received Best Supporting Actress nominations.
First time multiple African-American actresses received nominations for the same film.
Oprah Winfrey Sofia Nominated
1990 Whoopi Goldberg Ghost Oda Mae Brown Won First African-American actress to receive two acting nominations overall.
Second African-American actress to win Best Supporting Actress.
1996 Marianne Jean-Baptiste Secrets & Lies Hortense Cumberbatch Nominated First black British actress to receive an Academy Award nomination.
2002 Queen Latifah Chicago Matron Mama Morton Nominated First female hip hop artist to be nominated for an Academy Award.
2004 Sophie Okonedo Hotel Rwanda Tatiana Rusesabagina Nominated
2006 Jennifer Hudson Dreamgirls Effie White Won Youngest African-American actor (male or female) to win an Academy Award (age 25).
First film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
2007 Ruby Dee American Gangster Mama Lucas Nominated Oldest African-American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award (age 83).
2008 Viola Davis Doubt Mrs. Miller Nominated Second (or third, see Beah Richards above) time multiple African-American actresses received Best Supporting Actress nominations.
Taraji P. Henson The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Queenie Nominated
2009 Mo'Nique Precious Mary Lee Johnston Won Second film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
2011 Octavia Spencer The Help Minny Jackson Won Third film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actress and Supporting Actress.
2013 Lupita Nyong'o 12 Years a Slave Patsey Won First black African (Kenyan) actress to be nominated.
First black African to win in any category.

Best Cinematography[edit]

Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1998 Remi Adefarasin Elizabeth Nominated First black person to be nominated for Best Cinematography.

Best Costume Design[edit]

Academy Award for Best Costume Design
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1992 Ruth E. Carter Malcolm X Nominated First African-American to be nominated for Best Costume Design.
1997 Amistad Nominated
2004 Sharen Davis Ray Nominated
2006 Dreamgirls Nominated

Best Director[edit]

Academy Award for Best Director
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1991 John Singleton Boyz n the Hood Nominated First African-American to be nominated for Best Director.
Youngest person ever nominated in this category (age 24).
2009 Lee Daniels Precious Nominated Second African-American to earn a Best Director nomination.
First African-American director to earn a Best Picture nomination.
2013 Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave Nominated First black Briton to earn a Best Director nomination.
First black director to direct a Best Picture winning film.
First black director to earn an Oscar for Best Picture.

Best Documentary Feature[edit]

Academy Award for Documentary Feature
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1990 Yvonne Smith (producer) Adam Clayton Powell Nominated Shared with Richard Kilberg.
First African-American producer to be nominated for Best Documentary Feature.
1997 Spike Lee (director)
Samuel D. Pollard (producer)
4 Little Girls Nominated First African-American director to be nominated for Best Documentary Feature.
2004 Karolyn Ali (producer) Tupac: Resurrection Nominated
2012 T. J. Martin (director) Undefeated Won First African-American person to win in this category.
First African-American director to win in this category.

Best Documentary Short Subject[edit]

Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject
Year Name Film Status Milestone
2000 Leelai Demoz On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom Nominated Shared nomination with Eric Simonson.
First African-American person to be nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject.
2009 Roger Ross Williams Music by Prudence Won Shared nomination with Elinor Burkett.
First African-American person to win Best Documentary Short Subject.

Best Film Editing[edit]

Academy Award for Film Editing
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1969 Hugh A. Robertson Midnight Cowboy Nominated First African-American person to be nominated for Best Editing.

Best Music, Original Score[edit]

Academy Award for Original Music Score
Year Name Country Film Status Milestone
1961 Duke Ellington United States Paris Blues Nominated First African-American person to be nominated for Best Original Score. Nominated for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture.
1967 Quincy Jones United States In Cold Blood Nominated
1971 Isaac Hayes United States Shaft Nominated Nominated for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score.
1972 Gil Askey United States Lady Sings the Blues Nominated First African-American person to be nominated in the Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation (which is different from Best Original Score category).
1978 Quincy Jones United States The Wiz Nominated First African-American person to be nominated in the Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score (which is different from Best Original Score category).
1984 Prince United States Purple Rain Won First African-American winner of Best Original Song Score (which is different from Best Original Score category); this category was retired afterwards.
1985 Quincy Jones
Andrae Crouch
Caiphus Semenya
United States
South Africa
The Color Purple Nominated Shared nomination with 9 other composers. Caiphus Semenya becomes the first black South African to be nominated for an Academy Award.
1986 Herbie Hancock United States Round Midnight Won First African-American winner of Best Original Score.
1987 Jonas Gwangwa South Africa Cry Freedom Nominated Shared nomination with George Fenton

Best Music, Original Song[edit]

Academy Award for Best Original Song
Year Name Country Film Song Status Milestone
1967 Quincy Jones
Bob Russell
United States Banning "The Eyes of Love" Nominated First African-American people to be nominated for Best Original Song.
1968 For Love of Ivy "For Love of Ivy" Nominated First African-American people to be nominated twice for Best Original Song.
1971 Isaac Hayes United States Shaft "Theme from Shaft" Won First African-American winner for Best Original Song.
First African-American winner for any award other than in the acting categories.
1981 Lionel Richie United States Endless Love "Endless Love" Nominated
1983 Irene Cara United States Flashdance "Flashdance... What a Feeling" Won First African-American woman to win a non-acting Academy Award.
Only African-American woman to win a competitive, non-acting Academy Award.
Shared nomination and win with Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey.
1984 Stevie Wonder United States The Woman in Red "I Just Called to Say I Love You" Won
1984 Ray Parker, Jr. United States Ghostbusters "Ghostbusters" Nominated
1985 Lionel Richie United States White Nights "Say You, Say Me" Won
Quincy Jones
Lionel Richie
United States The Color Purple "Miss Celie's Blues" Nominated Shared nomination with Rod Temperton
1987 Jonas Gwangwa South Africa Cry Freedom "Cry Freedom" Nominated First black South African to be nominated in this category. Shared nomination with George Fenton.
1988 Lamont Dozier United States Buster "Two Hearts" Nominated Shared nomination with Phil Collins.
1993 Jimmy Jam
Terry Lewis
Janet Jackson
United States Poetic Justice "Again" Nominated
1994 James Ingram United States Beethoven's 2nd "The Day I Fall In Love" Nominated Shared nomination with Carole Bayer Sager and Cliff Magness.
1995 Junior "Look What Love Has Done" Nominated Shared nomination with Carole Bayer Sager, James Newton Howard and Patty Smyth.
2005 Juicy J
Frayser Boy
DJ Paul
United States Hustle & Flow "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" Won First African-American rappers to win an Academy Award.
2006 Siedah Garrett United States Dreamgirls "Love You I Do" Nominated Shared nomination with Henry Krieger.
2007 Jamal Joseph
Charles Mack
Tevin Thomas
United States August Rush "Raise It Up" Nominated
2011 Siedah Garrett
Carlinhos Brown
United States
Brazil
Rio "Real in Rio" Nominated Shared nomination with Sergio Mendes.
Garrett is the most nominated African-American female songwriter (2 nominations).
Brown is the first black Latin American nominated for Best Original Song.
2013 Pharrell Williams United States Despicable Me 2 "Happy" Nominated
2014 Common
John Legend
United States Selma "Glory" Won
2015 The Weeknd
DaHeala
Canada Fifty Shades of Grey "Earned It" Nominated Shared nomination with Belly and Stephan Moccio.
The Weeknd and DaHeala are the first black Canadians nominated for Best Original Song.

Best Picture[edit]

Academy Award for Best Picture
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1985 Quincy Jones The Color Purple Nominated First African-American producer whose film was nominated for Best Picture.
2009 Lee Daniels Precious Nominated First African-American director whose film was nominated for Best Picture.
First time two films with African-American producers were nominated for Best Picture.
Broderick Johnson The Blind Side Nominated First time two films with African-American producers were nominated for Best Picture.
2012 Reginald Hudlin Django Unchained Nominated
2013 Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave Won First black producer to win Best Picture.
2014 Oprah Winfrey Selma Nominated First black female producer nominated for Best Picture.

Best Short Film (Live Action)[edit]

Academy Award for Live Action Short Film
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1991 David Massey Last Breeze of Summer Nominated First African-American person (male or female) to be nominated for Short Film (Live Action).
1995 Dianne Houston Tuesday Morning Ride Nominated First African-American female to be nominated for Short Film (Live Action).

Best Sound Mixing[edit]

Academy Award for Sound
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1978 Willie D. Burton The Buddy Holly Story Nominated First African-American person to be nominated for Best Sound.
1980 Altered States Nominated First African-American person to be nominated multiple times for Best Sound.
1983 WarGames Nominated
1988 Bird Won First African-American person to win Best Sound.
1989 Russell Williams Glory Won Second African-American person to win Best Sound.
1990 Dances with Wolves Won First African-American person to win multiple Academy Awards in any category.
First and only African-American to win consecutive awards in any category.
1994 Willie D. Burton The Shawshank Redemption Nominated
1999 The Green Mile Nominated
2006 Dreamgirls Won First African-American person to be nominated, and to win, after category was renamed "Sound Mixing".

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)[edit]

Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay
Year Name Film Adapted From Status Milestone
1972 Lonne Elder Sounder Sounder
by William H. Armstrong
Nominated First African-American nominee for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay).
1984 Charles Fuller A Soldier's Story A Soldier's Play
by Charles Fuller
Nominated
2009 Geoffrey Fletcher Precious Push
by Sapphire
Won First African-American to win a screenplay Academy Award (Adapted Screenplay).
2013 John Ridley 12 Years a Slave Twelve Years a Slave
by Solomon Northup
Won Second African-American to win a screenplay Academy Award (Adapted Screenplay).
First African-American writer to have written a film that won Best Picture.

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)[edit]

Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1972 Suzanne de Passe Lady Sings the Blues Nominated Shared nomination with co-writers Chris Clark and Terence McCloy.
First African-American nominee for Best Writing (Original Screenplay).
First African-American female nominated for screen-writing.
1989 Spike Lee Do the Right Thing Nominated First African-American male to be nominated for Best Writing (Original Screenplay).
1991 John Singleton Boyz n the Hood Nominated

Special Awards[edit]

Special Awards
Year Name Award
1948 James Baskett Academy Special Award, for his characterization of Uncle Remus in Song of the South.
1995 Quincy Jones Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
2001 Sidney Poitier Academy Honorary Award, "for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence".
2011 James Earl Jones Academy Honorary Award, "for his legacy of consistent excellence and uncommon versatility"
Oprah Winfrey Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
2014 Harry Belafonte Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
2015 Spike Lee Academy Honorary Award, "a champion of independent film and an inspiration to young filmmakers"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
Specific