The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had something to prove this year after the “Oscar So White” debacle last year. The number of great films starring Black people let the Academy off the hook this year. They could not overlook the greatness. Films like Moonlight, Fences and Hidden Figures have been in the middle of Oscar buzz since their releases. The usual suspects, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, have both been nominated again. Mahershala Ali, who was recently cast as Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in the Netflix series “Luke Cage,” has been nominated for his first Academy Award for his portrayal of a drug dealer in the 2016 film Moonlight. Naomi Harris’ portrayal of a crack addicted mom in Moonlight also earned her a nomination. “I really cannot believe this. I heard the news from my brother because I was too terrified to listen to the nominations. I couldn’t be more thrilled that the movie has been nominated in so many categories, it’s so unexpected. It was a [role] I initially turned down, so this is quite a result!” Harris said, speaking with the BBC.
Moonlight leads the Black pack with eight nominations, including one for Best Picture and Director. There are non-White actors in each of this year’s acting categories. Let’s hope this trend continues. Black actors have been overlooked for years. Let’s see if all of these nominations translate into more awards and more roles for Black actors.
There are non-White actors in each of this year’s acting categories. Let’s hope this trend continues. Black people have been overlooked for years. Let’s see if all of these nominations translate into more awards and more roles for Black people.
The 89th Academy Awards is shaping up to be a historic night. Take a look at the Black Oscar nominations from the major categories below.
Best supporting actor
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Denzel Washington (Fences)
Best supporting actress
Viola Davis (Fences)
Naomi Harris (Moonlight)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Ruth Negga (Loving)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)