For the sixth time in nearly a century, the Academy Awards has the chance to reward a Black filmmaker with the Oscar for Best Director. Spike Lee received his first-ever nomination in the prestigious category this year for BlacKkKlansman, and there's a pretty good chance he could come out the winner. Only five other Black directors have ever been nominated: John Singleton, Jordan Peele, Barry Jenkins, Steve McQueen and Lee Daniels — none have ever taken home the gold.
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.
This year in particular could prove momentous. Along with Lee, two other Black nominees are poised to make history. If they win, Black Panther's Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler would become the first Black women to win Best Costume Design and Best Production Design, respectively
Click through to see every single Black person who has won an Oscar, and get some Black Hollywood history in the process.