After the 83rd Academy Awards, late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel quipped that the only African-American nominee at the Oscars was Black Swan. "Happy Black History Month," he added sardonically. Kimmel's far from the only one bemoaning the dearth of black Oscar nominees this year. Clearly, the producers of this year's Oscars recognized the omission as well and took measures to ensure the telecast at least featured entertainers of color.
Just 14 years ago, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called for a boycott of the Academy Awards due to the dearth of African American entertainers nominated for Oscars. In the new millennium, however, the Academy Awards have consistently nominated blacks for Oscars. Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Jen Hudson and Forest Whitaker have all nabbed Academy Awards in recent years. And Sophie Okonedo, Will Smith and Don Cheadle are among the blacks to receive nominations in the 2000s.