Oscar Records: Black–Directors, Actors, Artists

Black

First black filmmaker to win Best Picture
Steve McQueen won for producing 12 Years a Slave (2013)

First black filmmaker to be nominated for Best Director
John Singleton for Boyz n the Hood (1991)

First black actress to win for acting
Hattie McDaniel won Best Supporting Actress for Gone with the Wind (1939)

First black actor to win for acting
Sidney Poitier won Best Actor for Lilies of the Field (1963)

First black actress to win Best Actress
Halle Berry for Monster’s Ball (2001)

First black actress to win for film acting debut
Jennifer Hudson won Best Supporting Actress for Dreamgirls (2006)

First year in which two black actors/actresses won for acting
74th Academy Awards (in 2002, for 2001): Denzel Washington won Best Actor for Training Day; Halle Berry won Best Actress for Monster’s Ball

First black African actor to be nominated for acting
Djimon Hounsou (born in Benin, U.S.-Benin dual citizen), nominated for Best Supporting Actor for In America (2003)
First black writer to win for screenwriting
Geoffrey S. Fletcher won Best Adapted Screenplay for Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire (2009)
First African American to receive an Honorary Award
James Baskett received a Special Award for his portrayal of Uncle Remus in Song of the South (1946)