Last year, there was a lot of backlash regarding how there was no diversity in the Oscar race and that all nominees were white, leading to the hashtag #OscarSoWhite which trended across the globe. 

But this year, the new Oscar nominations are groundbreaking with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences showering nominations on at least six African-American themed films, 10 black actors and filmmakers and the India themed, Lion. Barry Jenkins scored a nomination for Moonlight while Ava DuVernay’s 13th was nominated for the Documentary Feature category. She is in competition with OJ: Made In America by Ezra Edelman and I am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck. The Best Picture nominees are Fences, Hidden Figures and Moonlight, which deal with people of colour.

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis

 

The nominees in the acting category are Denzel Washington, Ruth Negga, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer while the writing nominees comprise Tarell Alvin Mc Craney, August Wilson and Jenkins. Kimberly Steward shares a producing nomination for Manchester By The Sea.

Ruth Negga
Ruth Negga

 

After last year’s severe backlash, Hollywood has finally mended its ways with the Academy announcing its decision to add diverse members to its governing board. And so on that note, here’s taking a look at all the first black nominations in Oscar history.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Sidney Poitier 

First African-American actor to be nominated for Best Actor for The Defiant Ones (1958)

First black male to win an Oscar for Lilies of Field (1963)

First African-American actor to win Best Actor for Lilies of Field

First African-American actor to receive two acting nominations (for Best Actor)

Dexter Gordon

First jazz musician to be nominated for Best Actor for Round Midnight (1986)

Will Smith for Ali and Denzel Washington for Training Day (2001)

First time multiple African-American actors received Best Actor nominations

Jamie Foxx

First African-American actor to receive two acting nominations in the same year for Ray (2004)

Chiwetel Ejiofor

First black British actor to be nominated for Best Actor for 12 Years a Slave

Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington has the most nominations for an African-American Actor: Best Actor (5 nominations) and Best Supporting Actor (2 nominations)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Dorothy Dandridge

First African-American actress to be nominated for Best Actress for Carmen Jones (1954)

Diana Ross

First African-American actress to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance for Lady Sings the Blues (1954)

First time multiple African-American actresses received Best Actress nominations for Lady Sings the Blues (1954)

Halle Berry

First African-American actress to win Best Actress for Monster’s Ball (2001)

Ruth Negga

First black Irish actress to be nominated for Loving (2016)
First black African (Ethiopia) actress to be nominated in lead for Loving (2016)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Rupert Crosse

First African-American actor to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Reivers (1969)

Louis Gossett, Jr.

First African-American actor to win Best Supporting Actor for An Officer and a Gentleman

Best Actress In a Supporting Role

Hattie McDaniel

First African-American to win an Academy Award for Gone With The Wind (1939)
First African-American to be nominated for acting

Queen Latifah

First female hip hop artist to be nominated for an Academy Award for Chicago (2002)

Lupita Nyong’o

First black African (Kenyan) actress to be nominated for 12 Years A Slave (2013)
First black African to win in any category

Best Cinematography

Remi Adefarasin

First black person to be nominated for Best Cinematography for Elizabeth (1988)

Best Costume Design

Ruth E. Carter

First African-American to be nominated for Best Costume Design for Malcolm X (1992)

Best Director

John Singleton

First African-American to be nominated for Best Director for Boyz n the Hood (1991)

Steve McQueen

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 for 12 Years A Slave (2013)

Best Documentary Feature

Yvonne Smith

First African-American producer to be nominated for Best Documentary Feature for Adam Clayton Powell (1990)

J. Martin

First African-American director to win in the Best Documentary Feature category for Undefeated

Ava DuVernay

First black woman director to be nominated for Best Documentary Feature category for 13th

Best Film Editing

Hugh A. Robertson

First African-American person to be nominated for Best Editing for Midnight Cowboy(1969)

Joi McMillon

First African-American woman to be nominated for Best Editing for Moonlight (2016)

Best Music, Original Score

Duke Ellington

First African-American person to be nominated for Best Original Score for Paris Blues (1961)

Gil Askey

First African-American person to be nominated in the Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation for Lady Sings the Blues (1973)

Quincy Jones

First African-American person to be nominated in the Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score  for The Wiz (1978)

Prince

First African-American winner of Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain (1984)

Herbie Hancock

First African-American winner of Best Original Score for Round Midnight (1986)

Best Music, Original Song

Isaac Hayes

First African-American winner for Best Original Song for Shaft (1971)

Irene Cara

First African-American woman to win a non-acting Academy Award for Flashdance (1983)

Frayser Boy, Juicy J and DJ Paul

First African-American rappers to win an Academy Award for Hustle & Flow (2005)

Best Picture

Quincy Jones

First African-American producer whose film was nominated for Best Picture for The Color Purple (1985)

Lee Daniels

First African-American director whose film was nominated for Best Picture for Precious (2009)

Steve McQueen

First black producer to win Best Picture for 12 Years A Slave (2003)

Oprah Winfrey

First black female producer nominated for Best Picture for Selma (2014)

Best Sound Mixing

Willie D. Burton

First African-American person to be nominated for Best Sound for The Buddy Holly Story (1978)

First African-American person to win Best Sound for Bird (1988)

Best Writing

Lonne Elder

First African-American nominee for Best Writing for Sounder (1972)

Geoffrey Fletcher

First African-American to win a screenplay Academy Award for Precious (2009)

Suzanne de Passe

First African-American female nominated for screen-writing for Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

Spike Lee

First African-American male to be nominated for Best Writing for Do the Right Thing (1989)