This year, the 92nd edition of the Oscars Academy Awards was celebrated during American black history month. However, like the month itself, the celebrations were way too brief similar to the list of people of color winning the Oscars compared to white folks. A similar situation can also be expected in this year’s Nobel peace prize, as Greta Thunberg is marked as the bookies’ favourite.
Here’s a quick look at black Oscars winners in 2020.
Oscars So White
While director Bong Joon-Ho cleaned up the Academy Awards with his movie “Parasite” in a historic moment, the rest of the ceremony wasn’t very different from the previous years. People of color were missing in any of the top categories, with only five black nominees for the entire event. That was a significant reduction from last year’s awards, where a total of 15 nominees were black.
That fact was most likely well noted by Color Of Change, a non-profit civil rights organization that enlisted April Reigh – the #OscarsSoWhite creator – to tweet the Oscars live. April remained busy on tweeter with some timely statistics about people of color winning the Academy awards throughout the 9+ decades that the show has been around.
As revealed by April, only eight black women have ever won the Best Supporting Actress categories in the awards 92-year history. These women include Hattie McDaniel (1940), Whoopi Goldberg (1991), Mo’Nique (2010), Octavia Spencer (2012), Lupita Nyong’o (2014), Viola Davis (2017) and Regina King (2019).
Another surprising fact is that only six black men have ever been nominated for the Best Director category in over 90 years. The six black men are Spike Lee, Jordan Peele, Barry Jenkins, Steve McQueen, Lee Daniels and John Singleton. Nonetheless, no black women have ever been nominated for the category, and no person of color has ever won it.
Black People Who Won In The 2020 Oscars
Despite the worrying statistics about the number of people of color in the Oscars history, it’s not to say that this year’s event was bereft of Blackness. On the contrary, black people were well represented at the Oscars, just not in winning the awards. However, the lone exception to that rule was Janelle’s Hair Love, which got the award for the Best Animated Short Film.
Hair Love is a story about a black father who strives to understand better how to style his daughter’s hair, encouraging her to accept her natural coils. The film creator Janelle Monae made several statements with her voice of activism and her singing as well, celebrating every woman who directed a phenomenal film this year. Janelle was also happy to be recognized as a queer black artist telling stories.
After coming to the harsh realization of the minimal black representation in Sunday night’s Oscars awards, Chris Rock also offered some insights on the cultural levity. That came as Barack and Michelle Obama’s Production Company won the Best Documentary Feature for “American Factory.” However, besides those fleeting moments, the Oscars viewers had to accept the grim reality of having almost no black representation at the Oscars during in 92nd year.