Earlier this week, the creator and publisher of this site, Tim Gordon was a special guest on TV One’s News One Now hosted by Roland Martin. The topic: the continued importance of Black Awards recognition.
The producers of the show contacted Gordon (also the founder of The Black Reel Awards) to preview the upcoming NAACP Image Awards and to provide perspective if shows honoring Black performers or films were still needed in 2015. While the conversation was brief, it was spirited.
The short answer is an emphatic “OF COURSE” they are still needed. The fact that Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo were not recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Oscar-nominated film, Selma tells you all you need to know.
Here are some eye-opening facts about the Oscars that never get publicized. There have been more Black Oscar winners in the past 14 years (20 between 2000-2014) than in the first 72 years (14 between 1927-1999) of the existence of the Academy Awards.
There has been a grand total of 34 Black Oscar winners in the history of the Academy. Not counting honorary Oscars, there is an even more exclusive club – the multiple competitive Black Oscar winners, totaling just three: Denzel Washington (Glory and Training Day), sound mixers, Russell Williams II (Glory and Dances With Wolves) and Willie Burton (Bird and Dreamgirls). The only back-to-back Black Oscar winner is Williams in both 1989 and 1990.
While the Academy Awards has done a better job in the last decade and a half in recognizing Black Achievement, there is still a long way to go to level the playing field.
The 46th Annual NAACP Image Awards airs Friday night on TV One beginning at 9pm; The 15th Annual Black Reel Awards will take place on Thursday, February 19, 2015, beginning at 8pm.