Black Golden Globe Winners Were Few, But The Accolades Were Plentiful

Despite ten nominations, soul power didn’t get many wins at the Golden Globe Awards this year, but that’s okay.

For the past two years films directed by, featuring or written by people of African descent have been nominated for an ever-increasing amount of film and television nominations at the Golden Globe Awards, and there have been historic numbers of black winners as well.

However, despite the deluge of offerings featuring black cultural sensibilities, only a handful of awards were given out to black folks.

Last year, the only black Golden Globe winners were Sterling K. Brown, who became the first black man to win the award for Best Actor in a TV Series-Drama for his role in “This Is Us”, Donald Glover, whose “Atlanta” series won Best Series-Drama and garnered him a Best Actor in a Comedy Award, Tracee Ellis Ross for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for “Black-ish”, Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlighting” won Best Picture-Drama and Viola Davis won Best Actress in a Film-Drama for her heart-wrenching portrayal in “Fences”.

This year didn’t come close to matching that award total, but the energy of appreciation and recognition was still there.

Black Panther was a fan favorite and was The Shadow League’s Film of the Year, but it lost out in the Best Picture-Drama category to the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

Mahershala Ali won for Best Supporting Actor for the controversial biopic “Green Book” while ebony screen queen Regina King, nominated for Best Actress in TV Series-Drama and Best Supporting Actress in a Film-Drama for “Seven Seconds” and “If Beale Street Could Talk”, respectively, brought home the award for Best Supporting Actress for Beale Street.

Thandie Newton was nominated for her role in Westworld as a blood-thirsty, conscious automaton with an attitude but lost to Patricia Arquette for her role in “Escape At Dannemora”. Donald Glover, nominated for Best Actor in a TV Series-Comedy, lost out to Michael Douglas for his role in “The Kominsky Method”.

Spike Lee, the venerated Don of Black Filmmakers, was nominated for Best Director for “BlackKkKlansman” but was bested by Alfonso Cuaron for his work on “Roma” in that category. John David Washington was nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture for “BlackkKlansman” as well.

Billy Porter was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series-Drama for his role in “Pose”, which highlighted the AIDS crisis in 80s New York City, lost out to Richard Madden for his work on “Bodyguard”.

Stephan James (Seven Seconds, If Beale Street Could Talk) was in the running for Best Performance by an Actor in TV Series-Drama for his role in ‘Homecoming’.

The only uber predictable win for a “black” offering, meaning produced, directed, starring, written for, about or by black folk, was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which some felt was actually the best film of 2018.

Kendrick Lamar and SZA, nominated in the Best Original Song-Motion Picture slot for “All the Stars” lost to “Shallow” for A Star Is Born, performed by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt.

Though the final tally is something of a disappointment to many, unless you count the two other wins by ‘Green Book’ in the Best Motion Picture-Comedy and Best Screenplay categories, the fact that so many black folks, and products depicting black life, are getting nominated with increasing regularity is a victory that should be appreciated.

But vigilance for the sake diversity is a constant challenge for Hollywood.

Now, onto the Oscars.