Black Oscar History: Head-to-Head Match-ups and More

It’s Oscar Night for the 81st time.

We’ve got a bonafide takeover by people of color; they just happen to be from India. Slumdog Millionaire. Shout out to Loveleen Tandan, the Indian female co-director who could not be nominated due to Oscar rules that mandate one nominee for director (which, after tonight, may need to change). ‘Nuff said.

This year, women of color dominate the Best Supporting Actress category. For the third time in history, we have two African American women up for Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis for 8 minutes of sheer awe-inspiring power with Meryl Streep in that scene where they take a walk in Doubt, and Taraji P. Henson for her absorbing portrayal of Benjamin Button’s momma across the decades in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Hispanic powerhouse Penelope Cruz is vying for Oscar too, for her nuanced performance in the acclaimed Vicky Christina Barcelona. (editor’s note: Cruz won).

This feels REALLY good. I was loving the takeover by women last year as Diablo Cody snagged Best Screenplay for Juno and woman producer Eva Orner won for Best Documentary feature (Taxi To The Dark Side).

I marvel at the velocity with which Black actors are being nominated and winning in the late 20th and throughout the 21st Century thus far. For example: Hattie McDaniel was the first Black actor male or female to win Best Supporting Actress (Gone With The Wind, 1939). It took 51 years for that to happen again with Whoopi Goldberg’s win in the same category (Ghost, 1990). By comparison, it has been full throttle for sistas in the new millennium: eleven years after Whoopi’s victory, Halle wins Best Actress (Monster’s Ball, 2001) and Jennifer Hudson earns Best Supporting a mere five years later (Dreamgirls, 2006).

With all this talk of velocity, domination and match-ups the basketball junkie in me perked up. What OTHER Black head-to-head match-ups have there been in Oscar history? Check these out.

African American Oscar Nominee Match-ups (Asterisk denotes winners):

Best Supporting Actress

1967: Carol Channing [yes-she is biracial] (Thoroughly Modern Millie) vs. Beah Richards (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner)

Carol Channing

Carol Channing

1985: Margaret Avery vs. Oprah Winfrey (The Color Purple) Both nominated from the same film for the first and only time ever!

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

2008: Viola Davis (Doubt) vs. Taraji P.Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)

Viola Davis

Viola Davis

Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson

Best Actress in A Leading Role

1972: Diana Ross (Lady Sings The Blues) vs. Cicely Tyson (Sounder)

Diana Ross

Diana Ross

Best Supporting Actor

1987: Denzel Washington (Cry Freedom) vs. Morgan Freeman (Street Smart)

2004: *Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) vs. Jamie Foxx (Collateral). A lion bests Foxx in an upset.

2006: Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) vs. Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)

Djimon Hounsou

Best Actor in a Leading Role

2001: *Denzel Washington (Training Day) vs. Will Smith (Ali). Bad KOs pretty!

2004: *Jamie Foxx (Ray) vs. Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) As two real life figures brought to the big screen compete, the Foxx comes back to win in his second nominated category of that year.

2006: *Forest Whitaker (The Last King Of Scotland) vs. Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness). In a battle between two true stories, the dictator beats the stockbroker.

Will Smith

Will Smith

I was wondering about all the Oscar History African Americans have made, and Wikipedia satisfied all my queries!

Did you know:

The first Black person EVER nominated for Best Cinematography is Remi Adefarasin for Elizabeth (1998).

Remi Adefarasin

Remi Adefarasin

Only two Black costume designers have ever been nominated with both nominated twice, Ruth E. Carter (Malcolm X, 1992 and Amistad, 1997) and Sharen Davis (Ray, 2004 and Dreamgirls, 2006).

Hugh A. Robertson is the only Black person ever nominated for Best Editing (Midnight Cowboy, 1969).

We have experienced solid victories in music and sound. We know about wins by Best Score winners Prince (Purple Rain, 1984) and Herbie Hancock (Round Midnight, 1986). We always celebrate Best Original Song winners Isaac Hayes (Shaft, 1968) , Irene Cara (Flashdance, 1983), Lionel Richie (White Nights, 1985), and Stevie Wonder (The Woman In Red, 1984) and most recent winners Three 6 Mafia (Hustle & Flow, 2005).



But on the technical side for film sound, only TWO brothers have ever been nominated for Best Sound, and EACH have won twice!

Willie D. Burton (seven time nominee) winning for Bird (1988) and Dreamgirls (2006)

Russell Williams II (two-time nominee with a 100% success rate) winning both times, back-to-back wins for Glory (1989) and Dances With Wolves (1990)

Russell Williams II

Russell Williams II

All of these stellar achievers are truly the best in the business, and I am compelled to give them their props!

The Oscars will never be the end-all be all measurement of our achievement, nor should they be. However, our strides over the years are a big deal if you ask me. Posting the link (below) so you can see how far we’ve come. You’ll make some connections of your own; enjoy them all and revel in our progress by any means necessary!

Twitter: putyrdreams1st

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

19 Responses to “Black Oscar History: Head-to-Head Match-ups and More”

  1. Wendy Dodson Says:

    This article is in reality the greatest on this worthy topic. I absolutely feel the same way with your points of view and will hungrily look forward to your coming updates. Saying thanks will not just be adequate, for the fantastic lucidity in your writing. I will right away grab your rss feed to stay up to date of any updates. Fabulous work and much success in your life!

  2. ARNEADER Says:

    VERY infromative!

  3. Thembisa Says:

    Wendy: Thanks so much for subscribing. If you’re into entertainment industry, my book has more where this came from : All the best to you!

  4. Thembisa Says:

    ARNEADER: Glad you enjoyed it! i think we focus too much on on-screen talent and wanted to give props to our trailblazing filmMAKERS too!

  5. Vernia Rocchio Says:

    Have you ever ever thought of adding a lot of videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I simply read through the entire article of yours and it was quite smart but since I’m a lot of of a visible learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me apprehend how it turns out! I love what you guys are perpetually up too. Such clever work and reporting! Continue the great works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll. This is often a nice article thanks for sharing this informative information.. I will visit your blog regularly for a few latest post.

  6. accutane lawsuits Says:

    Depression, ulcerative colitis, IBD…what else will this do to people? LET’S GET THIS FIXED!

  7. Selena Says:

    Very good! I got pumped reading through. Then I started feeling really really good! Great to see in print. Good stuff!! Thanks!

  8. Ingrown Hair infection Says:

    The following ended up being a amazing page

  9. My Blog In Review for 2010: WOW! Thank YOU! « Thembisa Mshaka Says:

    […] Black Oscar History: Head-to-Head Match-ups and More February 2009 8 comments 5 […]

  10. MAFRI Says:…

    […]Black Oscar History: Head-to-Head Match-ups and More « Thembisa Mshaka[…]…

  11. Varning Försäkringsbolaget Moderna försäkringar, de där lurar dig på din klöver! Läs närvarande innan du tecknar ett försäkring hos de där. Says:

    Varning Försäkringsbolaget Moderna försäkringar, de där lurar dig på din klöver! Läs närvarande innan du tecknar ett försäkring hos de där….

    […]Black Oscar History: Head-to-Head Match-ups and More « Thembisa Mshaka[…]…

  12. significato nome Says:

    significato nome…

    […]Black Oscar History: Head-to-Head Match-ups and More « Thembisa Mshaka[…]…

  13. extention pour cheveux Says:

    Good Article!

  14. Bradley Says:

    I don’t even know how I stopped up here, but I belisved this submit was
    good. I don’t understand who you’re but certainly you’re going
    to a well-known blogger for those who aree not already.

  15. Walking tours Says:

    Yes! Finally someone writes about BUSINESS VOIP SOLUTIONS.

  16. personal finance Says:

    Appreciate the recommendation. Let mme try it out.

  17. Vilma Says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I really think this sitfe
    needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read
    more, thanks for the advice!

  18. Auto Review Says:

    Very good blog post. I definitely appreciate this
    site. Keep writing!

  19. Blog Noir: “Black Oscar History: Head-to-Head Matchups and More” – root migration Says:

    […] See the gallery of head-to-head matchups over on Thembisa Mshaka […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: