Oscar nominee Viola Davis says she’s calm, but excited.

Davis received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her role as the proud maid Aibileen in The Help.

Why is she calm? Davis received an Oscar nomination in 2009 for her role in the film, Doubt and then she “literally skipped through the hallways of the Four Seasons.”

Davis has mapped out a career in Hollywood that spans 30 years, this nomination is an exciting welcome to her career, but, Davis says she has “a sense of understanding that at some point it’s going to be over and you have to go back to being an actor.”

Octavia Spencer, who won a Golden Globe for her role in The Help also earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the film. The Montgomery, Ala., native is the sixth of seven children, and holds a bachelor’s from Auburn University. Spencer received her nomination for the role of Minny Jackson.

Gallery: Blacks at the Oscars

Here’s a brief history of African American Oscar winners from Hattie McDaniel, the first African American ever nominated for an Academy Award in 1939 for her role in Gone With the Wind, to Jennifer Hudson’s Oscar-winning performance in Dreamgirls in 2007.