The Hollywood Reporter recently sat down with John Singleton, Jordan Peele, Barry Jenkins, and Lee Daniels; four of out of the five Black people nominated for directing Oscars. The fifth is Steve McQueen, who made 12 Years a Slave. None of them won in the directing category and they spoke candidly about their unique role within the Academy, which has been constantly accused of overlooking the contributions of people of color. Peele still stands a chance if he wins Best Director for his film Get Out during this year’s ceremony, happening on March 4. He’ll be the first Black director to ever win.
But rather than focus on the lemons that the Oscars constantly serve Black people, I’d like to focus on the lemonade. In other words, instead of lamenting the way in which Black people have been short-changed by the Oscars, I’d like to celebrate the Black people who have been able to claim their coveted trophy on Hollywood’s biggest night. These are the people who have come before and after these directors to make history and build a legacy of Black excellence in film.
Click through to see every single Black person who has won an Oscar, and get some Black Hollywood history in the process.