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Records shattered for African Americans at the 2014 Oscars

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On Monday, February 24th, 2014 Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced the complete list of celebrity presenters to be expected at The Oscars®, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Included in the list of A-list film stars there is excitement surrounding black film, as 2014 will be a record a year for African American presenters at The Oscars®. This year’s ceremony will under the leadership of the first ever African American president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Cheryl Boone Isaacs boasts 21 years of experience on the Academy's Board of Governors. On July 30th, 2013, Boone was elected president being the first African American and third women to ever hold the position.

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“We are very excited that the Hollywood community will be turning out in force for Sunday’s Oscar ceremony,” said Zadan and Meron. “We sought to include a tremendous diversity of stars to represent not only this year’s nominees, but the legacy of the motion picture business as well.” This record-breaking event also marks the 75th anniversary of Hattie McDaniel breaking the color barrier with her Oscar win for "Gone with the Wind" in 1939 for Best Supporting Actress. Sydney Poiter, the elder statesman of this year's Academy Awards ceremony will be one of the presenters on hand. This year’s African American presenters are:

• Viola Davis (twice nominated for "Doubt" 2008 and "The Help" 2011)

• Jamie Foxx (winner for Best Actor for "Ray" 2004)

• Whoopi Goldberg (winner for Best Supporting Actress for "Ghost" 1990)

• Samuel L. Jackson (nominated for Best Supporting Actor for "Pulp Fiction" 1994)

• Michael B. Jordan

• Tyler Perry

• Sidney Poitier (nominated for Best Actor "The Defiant Ones" 1958. Winner for Best Actor for "Lilies of the Field" 1963)

• Gabourey Sidibe (nominated for Best Actress "Precious" 2009)

• Will Smith (twice nominate for Best Actor for "Ali" 2001 and "The Pursuit of Happyness" 2006)

Kerry Washington

The 2014 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences African American Oscar nominees include Chiwetel Ejiofor, Steve McQueen, Lupita Nyongo’o & John Ridley for “12 Years a Slave” and Barkhad Abdi for “Captain Phillips.” Other efforts to recognize the outstanding achievements of African Americans in film involve BET Networks special program tributing nominees for an award. The BET Takes Hollywood special debuted after the BET Honors on Monday, February 24th on the network, analyzing the Oscar race from the black perspective. Host Shaun Robinson conducted an intimate interview with Screen Actors Guild award-winner Lupita Nyong’o and director Steve McQueen. The one-hour special also features interviews with breakout director Ryan Coogler of Fruitvale Station, Spike Lee, John Singleton and music producer Pharrell.

The 2014 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ceremony takes place on Sunday, March 2, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and will televised live on the ABC Television Network. For a full gallery of Oscar presenters, visit www.oscar.com.

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