27 January 2016 Blogs

Academy Awards in the (Historical) News…Again

Blog post connecting ProQuest Historical Newspapers to the recent Academy Awards, highlighting the fact that out of the 2,947 Oscars awarded, very few have been awarded to actors of color. Written by Jennifer Cornell, Training and Consulting Partner and posted on January 27, 2016.

By Jennifer Cornell, TCP
The lack of actors of color being nominated for an Academy Award is making headlines…again.
February 28, 2016 will mark the 88th anniversary of the Oscars, and it is not the first time that opposition and disappointment were voiced in terms of a lack of diversity in the nominees—and this year in the four main acting categories.  It is not surprising to many—especially people of color and scholars.  
Out of the 2,947 Oscars awarded, very few have been awarded to actors of color.  It is very interesting to search through ProQuest’s Historical Newspapers using the publication date widget to see, decade by decade, what is being reported, by whom, and in what context.  
1940s
Goodwin, R. (1940, Aug 17). Sepia academy award rapped. Afro-American (1893-1988) 
Raps the idea of separate negro 'academy' awards. (1940, Aug 22). Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001) 
Matthews, R. (1943, Jan 09). The truth about HOLLYWOOD VIEWPOINT EXCLUSIVE AND THE RACE ISSUE FROM THE ACTORS. Afro-American (1893-1988) 
1950s
Levette, H. (1957, Mar 19). Fans hope for "write in" nominations for academy awards. Atlanta Daily World (1932-2003) 
Levette, H. (1959, Feb 14). Tan movie stars in line for '58 academy awards. Afro-American (1893-1988) 
1960s
Picketing to hit academy awards show. (1962, Apr 05). Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005) 
A S DOC YOUNG Special To The Defender. (1963, Apr 16). How negroes could win academy awards, too. Chicago Daily Defender (Daily Edition) (1960-1973) 
1970s
Oscar sets nominee record but he still needs "soul". (1973, Mar 31). New York Amsterdam News (1962-1993) 
Gipson, G. (1976, Apr 01). 'Oscar' slights black films. Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005) 
Hawkins, C. G. (1979, Apr 19). Image of america: Academy awards not real life. Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005) 
U S REP AUGUSTUS, F. H. (1979, Apr 20). ACADEMY AWARDS NOT REAL LIFE. Atlanta Daily World (1932-2003) 
Hawkins, A. (1979, Apr 28). Academy awards program made us 'invisible'. Afro-American (1893-1988) 
1980s
FAITH C CHRISTMAS Sentinel City Editor. (1981, Mar 05). Black actors call for boycott of oscars. Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005) 
Peters, I. (1982, Apr 10). Academy awards reflect hollywood's racist attitudes. Afro-American (1893-1988) 
Turn off the oscars. (1983, Mar 24). Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005) 
1990s
Goodale, G. (1996, Mar 25). Controversy hits oscars even before envelopes opened. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File) 

By Jennifer Cornell, TCP

The lack of actors of color being nominated for an Academy Award is making headlines…again.

February 28, 2016 will mark the 88th anniversary of the Oscars, and it is not the first time that opposition and disappointment were voiced in terms of a lack of diversity in the nominees—and this year in the four main acting categories.  It is not surprising to many—especially people of color and scholars.  

Out of the 2,947 Oscars awarded, very few have been awarded to actors of color.  It is very interesting to search through ProQuest’s Historical Newspapers using the publication date widget to see, decade by decade, what is being reported, by whom, and in what context.  

1940s

Goodwin, R. (1940, Aug 17). Sepia academy award rapped. Afro-American (1893-1988) 

Raps the idea of separate negro 'academy' awards. (1940, Aug 22). Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001).  

Matthews, R. (1943, Jan 09). The truth about HOLLYWOOD VIEWPOINT EXCLUSIVE AND THE RACE ISSUE FROM THE ACTORS. Afro-American (1893-1988) 

1950s

Levette, H. (1957, Mar 19). Fans hope for "write in" nominations for academy awards. Atlanta Daily World (1932-2003) 

Levette, H. (1959, Feb 14). Tan movie stars in line for '58 academy awards. Afro-American (1893-1988) 

1960s

Picketing to hit academy awards show. (1962, Apr 05). Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005) 

A S DOC YOUNG Special To The Defender. (1963, Apr 16). How negroes could win academy awards, too. Chicago Daily Defender (Daily Edition) (1960-1973) 

1970s

Oscar sets nominee record but he still needs "soul". (1973, Mar 31). New York Amsterdam News (1962-1993) 

Gipson, G. (1976, Apr 01). 'Oscar' slights black films. Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005) 

Hawkins, C. G. (1979, Apr 19). Image of America: Academy awards not real life. Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005) 

U S REP AUGUSTUS, F. H. (1979, Apr 20). ACADEMY AWARDS NOT REAL LIFE. Atlanta Daily World (1932-2003) 

Hawkins, A. (1979, Apr 28). Academy awards program made us 'invisible'. Afro-American (1893-1988) 

1980s

FAITH C CHRISTMAS Sentinel City Editor. (1981, Mar 05). Black actors call for boycott of Oscars. Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005) 

Peters, I. (1982, Apr 10). Academy awards reflect hollywood's racist attitudes. Afro-American (1893-1988) 

Turn off the Oscars. (1983, Mar 24). Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005) 

1990s

Goodale, G. (1996, Mar 25). Controversy hits Oscars even before envelopes opened. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File) 

Note: You must have access to ProQuest Historical Newspapers through a library to view the newspaper articles cited here.