Aaron Barksdale -Huff Post Black Voices
This post is part of a weekly series celebrating #ThrowbackThursday with reflections of our favorite childhood memories, past pop culture moments and more!
Viola Davis’s historic Emmy win for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series, as well as wins for both Regina King and Uzo Aduba, shows actors of color, particularly women, are rightfully being acknowledged and rewarded for their talent.
The diversity of this year’s Emmy nominations was a big improvement in comparison to this year’s Academy Awards, which severely lacked any people of color and spawned the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. While it’s important to celebrate greater representation for racial minorities, it’s obvious that there is more work to be done.
For the past 75 years, since Hattie McDaniel became the first person of color to ever receive an Academy Award in 1940, black stars have broken barriers and created opportunities for future generations of actors, actresses, screenwriters, directors, and producers to have a place in TV and film.
Here are the 25 black stars that were the first to pioneer the entertainment industry on both the big and small screen, in front of and behind the camera. Check out their incredible achievements below.