This Sunday at the 77th annual Academy Awards, it is possible that at least one of four African American actors will take home a gold Oscar with their name on it. Jamie Foxx, Don Cheadle and Morgan Freeman, and Sophie Okenedo have all been nominated for their recent movie roles.
Foxx received two nominations: Best Actor in a Leading Role for Ray and Best Supporting Actor in Collateral; Cheadle and Okenedo received nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Actress in Supporting Role respectively for Hotel Rwanda; and Freeman for Best Supporting Actor in a Leading Role for Million Dollar Baby.
These nominations have created a strong amount of buzz since the makeup of the Oscars for many years were exclusively limited to one skin persuasion.
Yet, four years ago, this pattern was broken when Halle Berry and Denzel Washington each won an Oscar on the same night. In addition, Foxx received a Golden Globe for Ray last month, so many people are eager to see if two or more African Americans can win again in the same night.
Laurence Washington, a film critic with the Denver-based blackflix.com, a Web site for black entertainment news, told BlackAmericaWeb.com “They both [Foxx and Cheadle] are certainly deserving of the award. You definitely can’t ignore it.”
Cheadle and Foxx have appeared in movies that appealed to college students for a variety of reasons. Collateral was an action packed flick and Hotel Rwanda connects with those of African descent.
“I would say that Hotel Rwanda is a must see film for all Howard students because the crisis in Africa does not get enough coverage on American news,” said Alex Cravanas a sophomore at Howard University.
“It was a very good performance,” said Stephanie Logan, a student at Howard University, “It’s refreshing to see that they recognized him for doing a dramatic role."