When the nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards were announced this morning, there were many names that were left off the list, but most notably, the exclusion of any African Americans in the 24 categories.
Among the omitted were Halle Berry, who received a Golden Globe nod for her acclaimed performance in 'Frankie and Alice,' and John Legend, who wrote and sang the song 'Shine' for the documentary 'Waiting for Superman.'
A majority of critics had voted 'Superman' as the best doc of 2010 and yet it failed to make the nomination cut.
While Tyler Perry's 'For Colored Girls' didn't received the best of positive reviews with a 33% approval rating from the movie critics website Rotten Tomatoes, many people singled out Kimberly Elise's performance and hoped that she would have landed a nod.
This is a far cry from the 2010 Oscars, when African Americans accounted for nine nominations. Lee Daniels' film, 'Precious' grabbed six nods, and took home wins for Best Supporting Actress (Mo'Nique) and adapted screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher). Roger Ross Williams won the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) for the film 'Music by Prudence.' Morgan Freeman was nominated for Best Actor for playing South African civil rights leader Nelson Mandela in 'Invictus,' and Broderick Johnson received a nod for co-producing 'The Blind Side.'
The three wins were the most since 2002 when Halle Berry and Denzel Washington won for 'Monster's Ball,' and 'Training Day,' respectively, and Sidney Poitier recieved an Honorary Award for "for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence."
Ironically, it was Oscar winner Mo'Nique who helped announced this year's nominees today.
Competing for Best Picture will be 'Black Swan,' 'The Fighter,' 'Inception,' 'The Kids Are All Right,' 'The King's Speech,' '127 Hours,' 'The Social Network,' 'Toy Story 3,' 'True Grit' and 'Winter's Bone.'
Outside of Rashida Jones, who's in 'The Social Network,' and fashion model/actress Yaya DaCosta, who's in 'The Kids Are All Right,' there aren't any blacks in the eight other films nominated for Best Picture.
Speaking of the two ladies mentioned, voters for the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards failed to include them with the ensemble list from their respected films when nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture were announced.
The last time less blacks were nominated was in 2001 when Leelai Demoz shared a nomination with Eric Simonson for the documentary (short subject) 'On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom.' Prior to that, in 1995 singer James Ingram shared a nomination with Carole Bayer Sager, James Newton Howard and Patty Smyth for the song 'Look What Love Has Done' from the film 'Junior.' That was the year when Don Cheadle was snubbed for his performance in 'Devil in a Blue Dress,' and 'Waiting To Exhale' received no recognition for any of the actresses in the film despite its success at the box office.
Some people may say that 2010 was the worst year for Black Cinema, with a majority of big studio films such as 'Just Wright,' 'Brooklyn's Finest,' and 'Our Family Wedding' generating negative reviews and flopping at the box office.
That being said, why didn't any of those "bad" films get a Razzie Award nomination, which gives out awards for the worst in cinema?
Is this a sign of a total black out? Or is this business as usual?