94th Annual Academy Awards: There Have Only Been 20 Black Oscar Winners in the Acting Categories

94th Annual Academy Awards: There Have Only Been 20 Black Oscar Winners in the Acting Category -- 49 Total Black Winners in Any Category

Ahead of the 94th annual Oscar Awards lets take a list at all the Black Oscar winners in the acting categories and the total Black winners in any category. Spoiler alert in the Academy’s 94-year history, only 20 Black oscar winners have won an award in the acting categories. Check them all out below.


Black Oscar Winners

Best Actor Category – WINNER

Sidney Poitier for Lilies of the Field (1963)
Denzel Washington for Training Day (2001)
Jamie Foxx for Ray (2004)
Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland (2006)
Black Oscar Winners


Best Actress Category – WINNER

Halle Berry for Monster’s Ball (2001)




Best Supporting Actress Category – Winner

Hattie McDaniel for Gone With the Wind (1939)
Whoopi Goldberg for Ghost (1990)
Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (2006)
Mo’Nique for Precious (2009)
Octavia Spencer for The Help (2011)
Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Viola Davis for Fences (2016)
Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)



In the Oscars 94 Year History There Have Only Been 20 Black Actor Winners

Best Supporting Actor Category

Louis Gossett, Jr. for An Officer and a Gentlemen (1982)
Denzel Washington for Glory (1989)
Cuba Gooding, Jr. for Jerry Maguire (1996)
Morgan Freeman for Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Mahershala Ali for Moonlight (2016)
Mahershala Ali for Green Book (2018)
Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah (2020)





Peter Ramsey black oscar winner

Best Animated Feature

Peter Ramsey for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)– he shared it with Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Bob Persichetti, and Rodney Rothman – First African American to be nominated for and to win for Animated Feature.





Best Costume Design – Winner

Ruth E. Carter for Black Panther (2018)



TJ Martin, Oscar®-winner

Best Documentary Feature

Undefeated from director T. J. Martin (2012)
O.J.: Made in America from director/producer Ezra Edelman (2016)



black oscar winner

Best Documentary Short Subject

Music by Prudence for director Roger Ross Williams who also shared it with Elinor Burkett (2009)



Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson black oscar winner

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) — shared it with Sergio López-Rivera.




prince black oscar winner

Best Music, Original Score

Prince for Purple Rain (1984)
Herbie Hancock for Round Midnight (1986)
Jon Batiste for Soul (2020)



Best Music, Original Song

Isaac Hayes for Shaft “Theme from Shaft” (1972)
Irene Cara for Flashdance “Flashdance… What a Feeling” (1983) — shared it with Keith Forsey and Giorgio Moroder.
Stevie Wonder for The Woman in Red “I Just Called to Say I Love You” (1984)
Frayser Boy, Juicy J, DJ Paul for Hustle & Flow “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp” (2005)
Common, John Legend for Selma “Glory” (2014)
H.E.R., Dernst Emile II, Tiara Thomas for Judas and the Black Messiah “Fight For You” (2020)



Best Picture

Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Barry Jenkins for Moonlight (2016)




Best Production Design

Hannah Beachler for Black Panther (2018) – shared with Jay Hart




matthew black oscar winner

Best Short Film (Animated)

Kobe Bryant for Dear Basketball (2017) – shared nomination with Glen Keane.
Matthew A. Cherry, Karen Rupert Toliver for Hair Love (2019)




Best Short Film (Live Action)

Travon Free for Two Distant Strangers (2020)

Best Sound

Willie D. Burton for Bird (1988)
Russell Williams II for Glory (1989)
Russell Williams II for Dances with Wolves (1990)
Willie D. Burton for Dreamgirls (2006)





Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious adapted from Push by Sapphire Won (2009)
John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave adapted from Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup (2013)
Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney for Moonlight adapted from In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by McCraney (2016)
Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman adapted from Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth (2018) — Shared with Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz.

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Jordan Peele for Get Out (2017)

Special awards

James Baskett Academy Special Award, for his characterization of Uncle Remus in Song of the South (1948 )
Quincy Jones Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (1995)
Sidney Poitier Academy Honorary Award (2001)
James Earl Jones Academy Honorary Award (2011)
Oprah Winfrey Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (2011)
Harry Belafonte Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award(2014)
Spike Lee Academy Honorary Award (2015 )
Charles Burnett Academy Honorary Award (2017)
Cicely Tyson Academy Honorary Award (2017)
Tyler Perry Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (2021)
Danny Glover Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (2022)
Samuel L. Jackson Academy Honorary Award (2022)

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