Five Black actors are nominated for 2024 Oscars

March-on-Washington-in-film-Rustin-by-David-Lee-Netflix, Five Black actors are nominated for 2024 Oscars, World News & Views
Right on time for Black History Month, “Rustin,” starring Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin, Frank Harts as Jim Farmer, Glynn Turman as A. Philip Randolph and Maxwell Whittington-Cooper as John Lewis, recreates the world-changing 1963 March on Washington. – Photo: David Lee, Netflix

by Daphne Young

When the 96th Oscar nominations were announced live, on Tuesday, Jan. 23, Black actors and actresses, along with several African filmmakers had something to shout about.

Actors Jeffrey Wright and Sterling K. Brown (“American Fiction”), Colman Domingo (“Rustin”), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“The Holdovers”) and Danielle Brooks (“The Color Purple”) are all first time nominees!

The movie confronts stereotypes about Black writers in the literary world and is Cord Jefferson’s directorial debut, earning him nominations for both Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay.

Another contender for Best Actor is Colman Jason Domingo for his portrayal of Bayard Rustin, a civil rights organizer who helped plan the historic 1963 March on Washington. “Rustin” is an inspirational true story about an openly Black gay hero, written by Julian Breece and Dustin Lance Black.

Ironically, former President Barack Obama is the founder of the production company, Higher Ground, which financed the George C. Wolfe drama that’s now playing on Netflix.

Now to the ladies. Da’Vine Joy Randolph gets a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role as the head cook at a New England prep school in the film “The Holdovers.”

In this heartfelt comedy, Randolph is forced to babysit a handful of students who have nowhere to go during the Christmas break. “The Holdovers” also stars Paul Giamatti and Dominic Sessa and is up for five nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Supporting Actress.

Daa€™Vine-Joy-Randolph-nominated-Best-Supporting-Actress-for-role-as-head-cook-at-New-England-prep-school-in-The-Holdovers-1400x933, Five Black actors are nominated for 2024 Oscars, World News & Views
Da’Vine Joy Randolph is nominated as Best Supporting Actress for her role as head cook at a New England prep school in “The Holdovers.” – Photo: Seacia Pavao, Focus Features

There’s a lot of buzz that Randolph might just take home the Best Supporting Actress honor at the 96th Annual Oscars for her role. But, she’s got some stiff competition this year, including actress Emily Blunt, who’s nominated in the same category for “Oppenheimer,” a World War II film about the American physicist Robert Oppenheimer, whose work at the Manhattan Project led to the atomic bomb. The Universal Pictures film “Oppenheimer” leads with 13 Oscar nominations this year.

Keep in mind, Randolph has already won awards at the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards this year. So, we are rooting for her at this year’s Oscars!

Finally, Alice Walker’s 1982 novel “The Color Purple” gets actress Danielle Brooks a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role as Sofia, the spirited Black woman who goes to prison for punching a white man in the rural South – Georgia – at the beginning of the 20th century. The star-studded cast also includes none other than Colman Domingo as the unfaithful “Mister,” a role that Danny Glover captivated us in back in the original version (1985). 

Fantasia Barrino also plays the adult Celie, originally played by Whoopi Goldberg, and actress-singer Halle Bailey is the child version of the same character.

Taraji P. Henson is Shug Avery in the newer and more musical version of “The Color Purple” by Warner Brothers. 

Recently, Henson’s taken to social media to comment about the rumors of a rift between her and one of the film’s executive producers, Oprah Winfrey, who earned an Oscar nomination for her debut acting role in the 1985 version of “The Color Purple.”

The original film garnered 11 nominations back in 1985. But, this version received only one nod – for Danielle Brooks, in the Best Supporting Actress category.

When it comes to independent films, three filmmakers from Africa were also recognized.

The Ugandan documentary film, “Bobi Wine: The People’s President,” was nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category. This feature is about the life and aspirations of Ugandan singer-turned-politician Bobi Wine

Another feature film, “Four Daughters,” was also nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category. It was written and directed by Kaouther Ben Hania and tells the story of a Tunisian mother who desperately searches for her two missing daughters.

The third African film to be nominated in this year’s Oscars is the Senegalese feature film “Lo Capitano,” which takes us on an adventurous journey with two young African boys.

Seydou and Moussa encounter different obstacles as the two Senegalese teenagers travel from Dakar to Sicily. Italian filmmaker Matteo Carrone’s movie was nominated this year for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Golden Globe Awards and Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards.

Also, kudos to Lily Gladstone for receiving a nomination for Best Actress in the film “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Gladstone is the first Native American actor to be nominated for an Oscar. “Killers of the Flower Moon” received 10 Oscar nominations.

Overall, this year’s Oscar nominations are a lot more inclusive than in years past.

Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees! 

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel will host again this year. For more information, visit

For a full list of Oscar nominees, visit this story on Young is freelance journalist in San Francisco who currently writes and reports for the SF Bay View and the SF Chronicle. She also fills-in as an anchor and reporter at KQED Radio. The Chicago native has won numerous awards over the years and is a general assignment reporter who covers everything from breaking news, crime, social justice, business, sports and entertainment. Contact her at