BIPOC Voices, Entertainment, History & Now

Which Black Actors/Actresses have won an Oscar?

The Academy needs to change.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Feb 25, 2021

For 92 years, the Academy has given out 336 acting awards with only 32 awards (for 29 actors) going to people of color. Meaning, a small 9% of non-white people have won the highest award in acting. Their nearly all-white nominations frustrated Black actors on social media from 2015 to this day, with #OscarsSoWhite trending.


We’ve already talked about how I May Destroy You and Minari were snubbed as films for the Golden Globes, we’re just hoping the Oscars will be better. Because historically, only 12 women of color have won, with Black women leading the way. Japanese actress, Miyoshi Umeki, is the only Asian woman to ever win an award and only two Indigenous actors (F. Murray Abraham in 1984 and Wes Studi in 2019) have ever won. Needless to say, we are hopeful the racial reckoning America is experiencing, will give the Oscars the kick in the teeth they need.


In the meantime, below is a list of some notable Black actors and actresses who have previously won.


1989: Denzel Washington for Glory, awarded for Best Supporting Actor

1990: Whoppi Goldberg for Ghost, awarded for Best Supporting Actress

1996: Cuba Gooding Jr. for Jerry Maguire, awarded for Best Supporting Actor

2001: Denzel Washington for Training Day, awarded for Best Actor

2001: Halle Berry for Monster’s Ball, awarded for Best Actress

2004: Jamie Foxx for Ray, awarded for Best Actor

2004: Morgan Freeman for Million Dollar Baby, awarded for Best Supporting Actor

2006: Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls, awarded for Best Supporting Actress

2009: Mo’Nigue for Precious, awarded for Best Supporting Actress

2011: Octavia Spencer for The Help, awarded for Best Supporting Actress

2014: Lupita Ngong’o for 12 Years a Slave, awarded for Best Supporting Actress