The 7 Black Actresses Who Have Won Oscars

The 7 Black Actresses Who Have Won Oscars

The Oscars' lack of diversity has reared its ugly head for the second straight year, despite a breadth of roles to choose from in 2015. With no minority actors nominated in any of the acting categories, critics are recycling last year's #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, and celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith have even called for a boycott.

According to the Economist, black actors and actresses have fared the best in terms of Oscar nominations and wins in ratio to the U.S. population. Still, the number of wins by minority actors is low compared to white actors; in the Oscars' 87-year history, only seven black actresses have won an Oscar.

Read more: Academy Awards Announces Plan to Diversify Membership by 2020, Organization Says

1. Hattie McDaniel

Role and film: Mammy, Gone With the Wind

Date: Feb. 29, 1940, 12th Academy Awards

Category: Best supporting actress 

Source: YouTube



2. Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost
Source: 
Mic/YouTube

Role and film: Oda Mae Brown, Ghost

Date: March 25, 1991, 63rd Academy Awards

Category: Best supporting actress

Source: YouTube



3. Halle Berry

Halle Berry in Monster's Ball
Source: 
Mic/YouTube

Role: Leticia Musgrove, Monster's Ball

Date: March 24, 2002, 74th Academy Awards

Category: Best actress

Source: YouTube




4. Jennifer Hudson


Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls
Source: 
Mic/YouTube

Role: Effie White, Dreamgirls

Date: Feb. 25, 2007, 79th Academy Awards

Category: Best supporting actress

Source: YouTube



5. Mo'Nique


Mo'Nique in 'Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire'
Source: 
Mic/YouTube

Role: Mary Lee Johnston, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

Date: March 7, 2010, 82nd Academy Awards

Category: Best supporting actress

Source: YouTube



6. Octavia Spencer


Octavia Spencer in 'The Help'
Source: 
Mic/YouTube

Role: Minny Jackson, The Help

Date: Feb. 26, 2012, 84th Academy Awards

Category: Best supporting actress

Source: YouTube



7. Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o in '12 Years a Slave'
Source: 
Mic/YouTube


Role: Patsey, 12 Years a Slave

Date: March 2, 2014, 86th Academy Awards

Category: Best supporting actress

Source: YouTube

Correction: Feb. 16, 2016 
A previous version of this story reported that Mark Ruffalo called for a boycott of the Oscars. Though Ruffalo considered boycotting the event, he did not call for a boycott. He ultimately tweeted on Jan. 21 that he plans to attend.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Andrew Leung

Andrew was an editorial fellow at Mic. He is based in New York and can be reached at aleungnyc@gmail.com

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