This timely presentation draws on American, African American, and film history to reflect on how the Oscars have recognized black actors from the award’s inception to the present. Starting in the 1920s, the presentation provides a thorough analysis and overview of any black actors nominated for their Hollywood roles during each decade. By cross-referencing historical trends with prior winners, audience members will be able to see consistent patterns when it comes to black characters in film and ultimately judge whether mainstream race relations have truly changed substantively or only superficially over time.
Frederick W. Gooding, Jr. (PhD, Georgetown University) is an Associate Professor within the Honors College at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. Gooding critically analyzes race within mainstream media, effectively contextualizing problematic patterns based upon their historical roots. As such, Gooding’s best-known work thus far is “You Mean, There’s RACE in My Movie? The Complete Guide to Understanding Race in Mainstream Hollywood,” which has been utilized in high schools and universities nationwide. Also the co-editor of “Stories from the Front of the Room: How Higher Education Faculty Overcome Challenges and Thrive in the Academy,” Gooding has stayed focused on the practical applications of equity with his 2018 book, “American Dream Deferred” carefully detailing the growth and struggles of black federal workers in the postwar era. His latest work, “Black Oscars” (May 2020), expands his reach into cultural studies by analyzing African American Academy Award winners and how their narratives reflect and reinforce larger American history.