Here Are the 7 Black Actors Who Have Won an Oscar

Despite the breadth of roles to choose from in 2015, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences extended their #OscarsSoWhite streak for the second year in a row. When the nominations for the 88th Academy Awards were announced in January, no minorities were represented in the acting categories, prompting celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith to call for a boycott.

In comparison to their counterpart, Oscar-winning roles for black actors have been more varied in terms of scope, including leading and supporting roles, as well as type — not the ones that David Oyolewo dubbed in 2015 as "subservient." In its 87-year history, seven black actors have won an Academy Award for eight different roles.

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

Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier in 'Lilies of the Field'Mic/YouTube

Role and film: Homer Smith, Lilies of the Field

Oscar win: 36th Academy Awards on April 13, 1964

Category: Best actor

Note: Poitier also received a noncompeting, honorary Oscar at the 74th Academy Awards in 2002.

Louis Gossett Jr. 

Louis Gossett Jr. in 'An Officer and a Gentleman'Mic/YouTube

Role and film: Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley, An Officer and a Gentleman

Oscar win: 55th Academy Awards on April 11, 1983 

Category: Best supporting actor

Denzel Washington – twice!

Denzel Washington in 'Glory'Mic/YouTube

Role and film: Private Silas Trip, Glory

Oscar win: 62nd Academy Awards on March 26, 1990

Category: Best supporting actor


Role and film: Alonzo Harris, Training Day

Oscar win: 74th Academy Awards on March 24, 2002

Category: Best actor

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba Gooding Jr. in 'Jerry Maguire'Mic/YouTube

Role and film: Rod Tidwell, Jerry Maguire

Oscar win: 69th Academy Awards on March 24, 1997

Category: Best supporting actor

Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx in 'Ray'Mic/YouTube

Role and film: Ray Charles, Ray

Oscar win: 77th Academy Awards on Feb. 27, 2005

Category: Best actor

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman in 'Million Dollar Baby'Mic/YouTube

Role and film: Eddie "Scrap-Iron" Dupris, Million Dollar Baby

Oscar win: 77th Academy Awards on Feb. 27, 2005

Category: Best supporting actor

Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker in 'The Last King of Scotland'Mic/YouTube

Role and film: Idi Amin, The Last King of Scotland

Oscar win: 79th Academy Awards on Feb. 25, 2007

Category: Best actor