How many black people have won Oscars? Since the Academy Awards were first handed out in 1929, only 22 Oscars have been awarded to performances given by Black actresses and actors. Hattie McDaniel made history for Black performers by winning for “Gone With the Wind” (supporting in 1939), while Sidney Poitier was the first such male actor to prevail for “Lilies of the Field” (lead in 1963).
Denzel Washington became the first two-time African-American acting champion when he claimed victory for “Glory” (supporting in 1989) and “Training Day” (lead in 2001), with Mahershala Ali joining him years later for “Moonlight” (supporting in 2016) and “Green Book” (supporting in 2018). Halle Berry was the first, and so far only, Black Best Actress thanks to “Monster’s Ball” (2001). The acting category with the most Black winners is Best Supporting Actress, with nine including recent champ Ariana DeBose for “West Side Story” (2021). Tour our photos below to see every Black actress and actor who won Academy Awards. Gallery originally published 2020.
How many black people have won Oscars?
As of 2023, there have been 16 Black people who have won Oscars.
Here are the Black people who have won Oscars in the acting categories:
- Hattie McDaniel (Best Supporting Actress for Gone with the Wind, 1940)
- Sidney Poitier (Best Actor for Lilies of the Field, 1963)
- Whoopi Goldberg (Best Supporting Actress for Ghost, 1990)
- Denzel Washington (Best Actor for Training Day, 2002)
- Halle Berry (Best Actress for Monster’s Ball, 2002)
- Forest Whitaker (Best Actor for The Last King of Scotland, 2007)
- Mo’Nique (Best Supporting Actress for Precious, 2010)
- Lupita Nyong’o (Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave, 2014)
- Viola Davis (Best Supporting Actress for Fences, 2017)
- Mahershala Ali (Best Supporting Actor for Moonlight, 2017)
- Regina King (Best Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk, 2019)
- Daniel Kaluuya (Best Supporting Actor for Judas and the Black Messiah, 2021)
- Yuh-Jung Youn (Best Supporting Actress for Minari, 2021)
- Ariana DeBose (Best Supporting Actress for West Side Story, 2022)
Here are the Black people who have won Oscars in the other categories:
- John Singleton (Best Writing (Original Screenplay) for Boyz n the Hood, 1992)
- Steve McQueen (Best Picture for 12 Years a Slave, 2014)
- Barry Jenkins (Best Adapted Screenplay for Moonlight, 2017)
The Academy Awards have been criticized for their lack of diversity, and the number of Black Oscar winners is still relatively small. However, there has been progress in recent years, and the number of Black nominees and winners is increasing.
How many black people have won Oscars best actor?
There have been 4 Black people who have won Oscars for Best Actor:
- Sidney Poitier (1963) for Lilies of the Field
- Denzel Washington (2002) for Training Day
- Forest Whitaker (2007) for The Last King of Scotland
- Mahershala Ali (2017) for Moonlight
Sidney Poitier was the first Black person to win an Oscar for Best Actor, and his win was a watershed moment for Black representation in Hollywood. His performance in Lilies of the Field was groundbreaking, and it helped to pave the way for other Black actors to be recognized for their talent.
Denzel Washington is the only actor to have won two Oscars for Best Actor. His performances in Training Day and The Last King of Scotland were both critically acclaimed, and they cemented his status as one of the greatest actors of his generation.
Forest Whitaker’s win for The Last King of Scotland was also significant, as it came at a time when there was a renewed focus on Black representation in Hollywood. His performance as Idi Amin was both powerful and disturbing, and it earned him widespread praise.
Mahershala Ali’s win for Moonlight was a historic moment, as he was the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar for Best Actor. His performance as Juan was both nuanced and heartbreaking, and it helped to bring attention to the importance of diversity in Hollywood.
The wins of Poitier, Washington, Whitaker, and Ali are all important milestones in the history of the Academy Awards. They represent progress in the fight for diversity and inclusion in Hollywood, and they inspire other Black actors to pursue their dreams.
Which black person has won the most Oscars?
The Black person who has won the most Oscars is Denzel Washington. He has won two Oscars for Best Actor, for his roles in Training Day (2002) and The Last King of Scotland (2007). He has also been nominated for eight other Academy Awards, including Best Picture for Amistad (1997) and Best Director for Fences (2016).
Washington is a highly respected actor who has been praised for his range and versatility. He has starred in a wide variety of films, including dramas, thrillers, and action movies. He is also a successful director, and his film Fences was nominated for three Academy Awards.
Washington’s two Oscars for Best Actor make him the most successful Black actor in Academy Award history. He is an inspiration to many Black actors and filmmakers, and he continues to be one of the most popular and respected actors in Hollywood.
What percentage of Oscar winners are black?
As of 2023, there have been 16 Black people who have won Oscars in the acting categories and 3 in the other categories. This means that Black people account for 2.8% of all Oscar winners.
The number of Black Oscar winners has increased in recent years, but it is still far below their representation in the general population. According to the 2020 US Census, Black people make up 13.4% of the US population.
The lack of diversity in the Academy Awards has been a source of criticism for many years. In 2016, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was trending on Twitter after no Black actors were nominated for any major awards. This led to the Academy Awards making changes to their diversity policies, such as increasing the number of Black members of the Academy.
Despite these changes, there is still a long way to go to achieve true diversity in the Academy Awards. However, the increase in the number of Black Oscar winners is a positive sign, and it is hoped that this trend will continue in the years to come.
Who is the youngest black Oscar winner?
The youngest Black Oscar winner is Cuba Gooding Jr., who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor at the age of 29 for his role as Rod Tidwell in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire.
Gooding Jr. was born in 1968 in The Bronx, New York City. He began his acting career in the early 1990s, and he quickly rose to prominence with roles in films such as Boyz n the Hood (1991) and A Few Good Men (1992). His performance in Jerry Maguire earned him critical acclaim, and he was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Gooding Jr. has continued to act in films and television shows, and he has received numerous awards and nominations for his work. He is considered to be one of the most successful Black actors of his generation.
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