Episode 79: "What Does the Academy Value in a Black Performance?"

Black men have been up for best actor Oscars only 20 times. 13 of those characters were arrested. 15 were violent.
— Brandon K. Thorp, The New York Times
Of the 10 black women ever up for best actress Oscars, all played characters in poverty. 9 were homeless or nearly so.
— Brandon K. Thorp, The New York Times

Given the popularity, influence and relevance of movies in America, the Oscars often present opportunities for cultural and historical consideration. This year, the lack of any black nominees at the Oscars caused massive outcries in response from audiences and actors alike. Social media conversations like #OscarsSoWhite remind us that the discontent is genuine and its roots in issues of race are deep. We chose to explore this issue through a New York Times article discussing black actors and actresses in the history of the Oscars.

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