IMDb Polls

Poll: African-American Milestones in Movies and TV

In celebration of Black History Month,IMDb-Editors released a LIST to acknowledge many accomplishments of African-Americans in movies and television.

Which is the crowning achievement by an African-American?

Discuss here

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!
     

    Hattie McDaniel

    First African-American actress to win an Academy Award: Hattie McDaniel, Best Supporting Actress for Gone with the Wind (1939) (1939)
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    Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder (2014)

    First African-American actress to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Viola Davis for "How to Get Away with Murder (2014)" in 2015
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    Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones (1958)

    First African-American actor to be nominated for an Academy Award: Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones (1958) (1958)
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    Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field (1963)

    First African-American actor to win an Academy Award: Sidney Poitier, Best Actor for Lilies of the Field (1963) (1963)
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    Ethel Waters, c. 1939.

    First African-American to be featured on a sitcom: Ethel Waters as Beulah in "Beulah (1950)" (1950)
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    Diahann Carroll

    First African-American actor (male or female) to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award: Diahann Carrolll for "Naked City (1958)" (1958)
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    "I Spy" Robert Culp, Bill Cosby circa 1965

    First African-American in a lead role in primetime TV: Bill Cosby in "I Spy (1965)" (1965)

    Bill Cosby is also the first African-American (male or female) to win a Primetime Emmy Award for "I Spy (1965)" in 1966.

  8. Vote!
     

    Oprah Winfrey and Prince in The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986)

    First African-American woman to host a daytime talk show: Oprah Winfrey in "The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986)" (1986)
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    Angela Bassett in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)

    First African-American woman to win Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy: Angela Bassett in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993) (1993)
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    Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford at an event for The Jeffersons (1975)

    First African-American actress to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Isabel Sanford for "The Jeffersons (1975)" in 1981
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    Denzel Washington in Glory (1989)

    First African-American to win two Academy Awards for acting: Denzel Washington in Glory (1989) (1989), for which he won Best Supporting Actor, and Training Day (2001) (2001), for which he won Best Actor
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    Halle Berry in Monster's Ball (2001)

    First African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actress: Halle Berry for Monster's Ball (2001) (2001)
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    Cicely Tyson in East Side/West Side (1963)

    First African-American star of a TV drama: Cicely Tyson in "East Side/West Side (1963)" (1963)
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    Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge in Carmen Jones (1954)

    First African-American nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress: Dorothy Dandridge for Carmen Jones (1954) (1954)
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    Gordon Parks

    First African-American to direct a major Hollywood film: Gordon Parks, who directed The Learning Tree (1969) (1969) for Warner Brothers
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    Nat King Cole, c. 1954.

    First African-American to host a network television show: Nat 'King' Cole in "The Nat King Cole Show (1954)" (1954)
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    "Academy Awards: 44th Annual," Isaac Hayes, Joel Grey. 1972.

    First African-American to win a non-acting Academy Award: Isaac Hayes, who won the award for Best Original Song for the "Theme From Shaft" from Shaft (1971) (1972)
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    Prince in Purple Rain (1984)

    First African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score: Prince for Purple Rain (1984) (1985)
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    Robert Guillaume in Benson (1979)

    First African-American actor to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Benson (1979) for "Benson (1979)" in 1985
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    John Singleton at an event for The 88th Annual Academy Awards (2016)

    First African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director: Boyz n the Hood (1991) for Boyz n the Hood (1991) (1992)
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    Whoopi Goldberg at an event for The 63rd Annual Academy Awards (1991)

    First African-American to host the Academy Awards solo: Whoopi Goldberg (1994)
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    The Princess and the Frog (2009)

    First Disney Princess of African-American Heritage: Tiana, heroine of The Princess and the Frog (2009) (2009), who was voiced by Anika Noni Rose
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    Richard Gere and Louis Gossett Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

    First African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor: Louis Gossett Jr. for An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) (1983)
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    Herbie Hancock at an event for The 57th Annual Grammy Awards (2015)

    First African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Original Score: Herbie Hancock for 'Round Midnight (1986) (1987)
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    Quincy Jones

    First African-American producer to be nominated for Best Picture: Quincy Jones for The Color Purple (1985) (1985)