More African-Americans have won the coveted Oscar (in the acting categories) than is generally realized — not as many as should have won, but the numbers are increasing.
The Academy of Motown Picture Arts and Sciences, and its voting members, are making significant strides in the quest for colorblind nominating and voting.
It all started when Hattie McDaniel became the first Black person to ever win an Academy Award in 1939. It was was for her work in "Gone With the Wind." This was a very stereotypical role, but one has to consider the times, as well as the time period of the film.
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Sidney Poitier ("Lillies of the Field," 1958), Denzel Washington ("Training Day," 2001), Jamie Foxx ("Ray," 2004), Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland," 2006).
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Halle Berry ("Monster's Ball," 2001).
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Louis Gossett, Jr., ("An Officer and a Gentleman," 1982), Denzel Washington ("Glory," 1989), Cuba Gooding, Jr. ("Jerry Maguire," 1996), Morgan Freeman ("Million Dollar Baby," 2004).
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Hattie McDaniel ("Gone With the Wind," 1939), Whoopi Goldberg ("Ghost," 1990), Jennifer Hudson ("Dreamgirls," 2006), Mo'Nique ("Precious," 2009).
Many actors and actresses have been nominated in these categories over the years. — SVH