There’s a reason why many black people are excited about Sunday’s Oscars, regardless of how often they even watch movies. It’s because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' voters have finally decided to recognize an array of amazing black talent.
It’s not just the one Viola Davis nomination every few years, or, more frequently so, the lone black male actor nominated. There’s actually a celebration of black star power across various categories. Among this new class of black Oscar nominees are many who could defy history if they win.
Take a look at this year’s potentially history-making nominees.
Mahershala Ali (Best Supporting Actor, "Green Book")
It was just two years ago when Ali became the first Muslim actor to win in this category for his performance in "Moonlight." If he wins Sunday, he will become the first black actor to earn two best supporting actor Oscars.
Hannah Beachler (Best Production Design, "Black Panther")
Though Beachler is the first black person nominated in this category, her gorgeous production work previously gained recognition in the 2016 best picture winner, "Moonlight." She could become the first black winner in this category.
Peter Ramsey (Best Animated Feature, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse")
Ramsey may be the first black person to be nominated in this category as the co-director of "Into the Spider-verse," but he is far from a newbie to the Oscars. He previously earned acclaim as a storyboard artist for several Oscar-winning films including "Independence Day" in 1996.
Ruth E. Carter (Best Achievement in Costume Design, "Black Panther")
Carter is a legend in both the industry as well as in this category, in which she has previously been nominated twice for her stunning costumes in the 1992 "Malcolm X" and the 1997 "Amistad." If she finally wins this year, she will be the first black costume designer to take home the coveted award.
Spike Lee (Best Director, Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, "BlacKkKlansman")
Lee is another Hollywood veteran whose name has been so well known for so many years (since his first feature film in 1986, to be exact) that some may assume that he already has a shelf of Oscars in his home. However, if he wins for best director this year, it will be his first Oscar ever and he will also become the first black person to win in the category. He was previously nominated for best original screenplay for "Do the Right Thing" in 1989 and the best documentary feature for "4 Little Girls" in 1997. He earned an honorary Academy Award in 2015.
Jordan Peele (Best Picture, "BlacKkKlansman")
One year after making history as the first person to win an Oscar for best original screenplay for "Get Out," which was also the first horror film to win in the category, Peele is poised to make history once again as the co-producer (with Lee) of "BlacKkKlansman." This would mark the second time a black person would win two consecutive Oscars (Russell Williams won for best sound mixing for "Glory" and "Dances with Wolves" in 1989 and 1990, respectively).