The Oscar nominations were announced today, and while many talk about who got nominated and who didn’t, others are wondering if the Oscars still matter at all.

While I agree with the folks over at Shadow & Act that the Oscars are a little overhyped, it’s hard to deny what this award means to so many, specifically minority actors who still struggle to gain acceptance and visibility in an industry that continues to marginalizes their abilities.

Today, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer nabbed nominations for their roles in The Help, making them two of the few black women who have been nominated for an Academy Award. While they are indeed worthy of the nod, there have been so many black actresses who have been just as capable and should have won an Oscar as well.

Here are 5 black actress who deserved to win.

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett inhabits every role with an intensity few can match. From the quiet strength of Sister Betty Shabazz and Rosa Parks, to the larger-than-life persona of Tina Turner, Bassett owns the screen. Although she was nominated for her portrayal of Turner, it’s almost astounding Bassett’s skills have yet to garner her an award. Where’s the love?

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  • PMichelle

    Regina King has been in the game for a long time and is an amazing actress, she’s been in so many movies I can’t even name them all. Good to see Kimberly and Angela on the list!

  • I agree PMichelle, that Regina King deserved at least a nomination for her portrayal of Margie in RAY. And I’ve always believed that Diahann Carroll, while nominated, was robbed of the Oscar for her portrayal as a welfare mother in CLAUDINE. No one thought the glamorous Diahann could possibly pull it off and not only did she pull it off, she knocked it completely out of the ballpark.

  • Diem

    I totally agree with this list! I’d also add Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson.

  • kefan

    Thank you so much, I honestly felt that after diary of a mad black woman, Kimberly Elise was well worth a nod towards a Oscar. I feel that i have to say that given the right role, I honestly think that Gabrielle Union could be a great choice for an oscar in the future. One to person to look out for once she grows older is Megan Good as well. Also i have to agree with everyone else about Angela Bassett, Regina King, and Alfre Woodard being well overdue for an Oscar and Taraji P. Henson, is well deserving as well.

  • Some may disagree, but I actually think Diana Ross, should have walked with the Oscar for Lady Sings The Blues. Given she had no previous acting experience, she gave an excellent performance portraying Billie Holiday. Angela Bassett, was excellent in Whats Love Got to Do with it, however as someone mentioned earlier, there was competion with Holly Hunter in the Piano. Give Halle Berry her dues, she has been in the industry for over 20 years, and has had to fight alongside her fellow sister for decent roles. She herself has said that in addition to her colour, her looks have gone against her, and she has had to fight even harder for producers to consider her for serious roles. She was never orginally considered for the role in Monsters Ball,and had to fight for it, telling the producer ” Who are you to say you have to look a certain way in order to feel pain” It was this that got her the role. Even so, I did not really rate the film, although it was produced and directed by a black man, it was one of those ‘poor old black folk’ films, which just help to reinforce sterotypes of black people. However the film was quite emotional, and Halle played role outside of what people normally saw her in, which I guess showed her talents in another light. But to be honest, I think the driving force behind it was the politics of the event that night, it was very clear, that the establishment decided prior to the event to honour black actors contributiion to the industry ( starting with Sidney Poiter), and Halle and Denzel where nominated in the right year at the right time. Of course Denzel deserved an Oscar,but did not think Training Day was his best. Anway side tracking. Asides from Halle and Angela, there is an array of talented actresses such as Kimberley Elise, anika noni rose ( excellent alongside Gill Scott in Ladies DAlfre Woodardetective Agency), Kerry Washington, Regina King ( briliant in Ray), Cicely Tyson, and the list can go on….