In the midst of event and award show cancellations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has drummed up quite a bit of chatter over its announcement that it will have a host for this year’s ceremony, three years after last having one.
The news prompted a slew of speculation around who the host might be, along with no shortage of suggestions such as Issa Rae. Some entertainers, like Robin Thede, even threw their own hat in the ring.
While there’s certainly much work to be done in diversifying the hosting space for major award shows (only five Black entertainers have hosted in the Academy’s near 100-year history), a Black woman garnering the coveted opportunity isn’t too far off. Loading the player…
As we wait in anticipation of learning who will guide us through Hollywood’s biggest night on March 27, here’s a look back at the iconic Black entertainers who have landed the hosting gig over the years.
This article was originally published December 18, 2018.01Sammy Davis, Jr. – 1972, 1975In 1972, singer, actor and comedian Sammy Davis, Jr. became the first African-American entertainer to host or co-host the show in the history of the Academy Awards. He hosted alongside Jack Lemmon, Helen Hayes and Alan King. He later returned to host the show again in 1975 alongside Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Shirley MacLaine. getty images
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