The past year saw a striking number of critically acclaimed films about the black experience: 12 Years a Slave; 42; Lee Daniels' The Butler; Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; and Fruitvale Station, to name just a few. There was lots of talk that two or three of those films and three or four black actors (12 Years' Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mandela's Idris Elba, Fruitvale's Michael B. Jordan, The Butler's Forest Whitaker) and actresses (Fruitvale's Octavia Spencer, Mandela's Naomie Harris, 12 Years' Lupita Nyong'o) might land Oscar nominations. To recognize the occasion, the Broadcast Film Critics Association held "A Celebration of Black Cinema" at the House of Blues in West Hollywood on Jan. 7.
However, when the 86th Grammy Awards nominations got realeased many (including myself) were shocked by the lack of black actors on the ballot. History would suggest that the Academy which is comprised of 6, 028 members with only 2% of them being black has been progressive when it come to race. With such memorable wins as Best supporting actress Hattie McDaniels for her Gone with the wind performance, Sidney Poitier as best actor in Lilies of the Fields and even with Halle Berry and Denzel Washington grabbing Oscars as well. More must be done!
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Stephen "TheeBlackSocialite" Hale