You’ve seen the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, but what’s it all about? Black film professionals are upset that there were no black actors nominated this year for the Academy Awards.

This whole Oscars race-card thing over the 87th Academy Awards has me thinking: what movies, actors, writers, and producers should have been nominated? Not many come to mind. I just don’t understand what black actors and movies did remarkable jobs this year. “Straight out of Compton” was an average movie, yet its screenplay was nominated.  It’s produced by blacks and it’s about black pop culture.

Creed was really good. I could see Michael B. Jordan up for dramatic actor. Not sure if him or Sylvester Stallone were the lead. Stallone got best supporting.

African America films on Amazon

What about the Academy Awards compared to other awards ceremonies?

How does the Oscars map out in Venn Diagram of races? Are the Oscars the sibling of the BET awards or a parent? Official white-exclusive organizations are not allowed in this country. Somehow the Black Entertainment Television awards are not racist.

Does it matter how many black people who are nominated for or win an Academy Award?

Hollywood is based on profit. The black population is only 12% of nation according to the U.S. Census. There are a handful of black actors that can lead a movie that appeals to the whole nation and black cultural dramas might not appeal outside of things like slavery and rights.  

Is this about the performance or the skin color?

Does there need to be token black actor nominated every year, regardless of the performance and performances of other actors? Denzel Washington and Quvenzhané Wallis were nominated for the 85th Academy Awards. Spike Lee received an Honorary Award; and Harry Belafonte the year before. (List of all black award recipients). What about other non-white film professionals? Do they count against the whiteness of Hollywood?

Does the type of movie make a difference? “Straight Out of Compton” was nominated this year. “12 Years a Slave” was named best picture at the 86th Academy Awards. Maybe it’s perception, but  the 84th Academy Awards were a huge year for the black film professionals and community with movies like, “The Help.”

One thing is certain: with the struggle of black poverty and police brutality the black issues are forefront and tender. Just the same, I can’t help but wonder if the issue award ceremony or Hollywood in general.

CNN reports that the black community trying to coerce blacks who may be ambivalent about the issue to boycott the Oscars. The black community wants the host, actor and comidian, Chris Rock to boycott.  So far he hasn’t responded, but in 2014 he wrote an essay on Hollywood’s race problem for The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a white industry,” Rock wrote. “Just as the NBA is a black industry. I’m not even saying it’s a bad thing. It just is.”

Idris Elba: “I went to America because I was running out of parts.” This black actor think there are more opportunities for blacks actors in the USA than in the UK.

Ice Cube is extremely chill about it: “Our fans love the movie, why should we worry that one academy or guild doesn’t?”

Hollywood Reacts

Dr Martin Luther King Jr advises Nichelle Nichols not to quit Star Trek, “You don’t have a black role, you have an equal roll.”