Boyz N The Hood, made by John Singleton in 1991, was the story of three friends — played by(from left) Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ice Cube – growing up in South Central Los Angeles.
The first African-American nominee for Best Director was John Singleton. Like Peele, Singleton was nominated for his debut film. Singleton’s film “Boys n the Hood” featured Ice Cube (in his acting debut), Cuba Gooding Jr. and Angela Bassett. Singleton’s nomination also made history because he was the youngest-ever nominee for Best Director, nominated at age 24.
This year, Jordan Peele hit the trifecta of Oscar nominations with “Get Out,” receiving nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Peele is only the fifth African-American director to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar.
Whoopi Goldberg at the Oscars, 1991 (Leosigh)
Actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg won an Oscar for “Ghost,” the seminal Patrick Swayze movie where his character dies and comes back as, you guessed it, a ghost. (Shocker, right?) Goldberg played Oda Mae Brown, a psychic who helps Swayze’s character.
Goldberg won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the movie a the 63rd Annual Academy Awards in 1991. This was her second Oscar nomination: Goldberg had previously been nominated for Best Actress in 1986’s “The Color Purple.”
Until the 2017 Oscar nominations were announced, Goldberg was the only Black actress to be nominated for an Oscar twice. Now there’s a new record: Powerhouse actress Viola Davis received a nomination for her work in “Fences,” and she is now the only Black actress to be nominated three times for an Oscar. Davis had previously been nominated in 2009 for “Doubt” and in 2012 for “The Help.”