The Academy Awards became a staple in Hollywood in 1929, honoring the best in cinema behind and in front of the camera.
However, until Hattie McDaniel’s historic win in 1939 for “Gone With the Wind,” and for decades following that watershed moment, the Academy Awards usually honored the best White Americans in cinema, shunning countless classic performances by African-Americans.
Sidney Poitier became the second Black actor to win an Oscar in 1963 for “Lilies of the Field.”
As a result, the African-American community instituted their own award shows like the NAACP Image Awards, Essence Awards and BET Awards to award the best from their community, not waiting on acceptance from mainstream media.
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