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This year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy has sparked a lot of conversation about actors and actresses (past and present) who should have received acknowledgement from the prestigious award show.

Although you can count on one hand the number of African-Americans who have won Academy Awards, the list of those who should have won (or even been nominated) is endless. Check out our list of Black actors and actresses who don’t have Oscars, but should.

Actor: Will Smith

Film: Ali, Pursuit of Happyness

Will Smith is arguably one of the most successful actors of our time, so for him not to have an Academy Award is pretty unfathomable. Will’s wife Jada vowed to boycott this year’s award show because of the lack of diversity, and the fact that her husband wasn’t nominated for his role in Concussion probably had something to do with it.

Actress: Angela Bassett

Film: What’s Love Got To Do With It

Angela Bassett has a string of hit films under her belt, but she is probably most known for her captivating role as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It. She was nominated for the role in 1994, but lost to Holly Hunter. 

Actor: Samuel L. Jackson

Film: Pulp Fiction

Samuel L. Jackson starred in one of the most famous movies in pop culture history, Pulp Fiction. Although he snagged a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as Jules Winnfield, the award ultimately went to Martin Landau.

Actor: Derek Luke

Film: Antwone Fisher

Derek Luke may not have been a familiar face back in 2002 when Antwone Fisher hit theaters, but he gave a standout performance in that film, which put him on another radar in the acting world. He told a real story with conviction and should have at least been nominated.

Actor: Michael Clarke Duncan

Film: The Green Mile

Anytime you work alongside Tom Hanks, you have to bring it, and Michael Clark Duncan definitely did with his role as John Coffey in The Green Mile. Bruce Willis once revealed that it was he who encouraged the late Duncan to take the touching role. Although he was nominated at the 2000 Academy Awards, he lost to Michael Caine. Duncan passed away in 2012, but we remember him for the art he left here on Earth.

Actor: Laurence Fishburne

Film: What’s Love Got To Do With It

Laurence Fishburne has been acting for over 40 years and has a catalogue that any actor should be jealous of. But when he portrayed Ike Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It, he gained a wider variety of fans and supporters. He lost the Oscar for Best Actor to Tom Hanks that year.

Actress: Oprah

Film: The Color Purple

Who doesn’t remember Miss Sophia from the classic film The Color PurpleOprah transformed from daytime talk show queen to a badass southern woman in her debut film. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress that year, but lost to Anjelica Huston.

Actor: Don Cheadle

Film: Hotel Rwanda

Don Cheadle was nominated for Best Actor for his role in the 2004 hit film Hotel Rwanda, but lost to Jamie Foxx. Cheadle is very aware of the diversity issue that is happening in Hollywood. So much so, that the actor tweeted this year’s Oscar host Chris Rock: Yo, Chris. Come check me out at this year. They got me parking cars on G level.” 



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Still No Oscar? 8 Black Actors Who Should Have Won An Academy Award By Now  was originally published on