The year was 1988: Up until that year, only three black performers had ever won acting Oscars. Eddie Murphy was slated to present the Best Picture trophy to The Last Emperor, but he had something to say before he opened the envelope. Here in 2015 the interruption is still necessary.
That was 1988, the year of Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman's first Oscar nominations. While it's great that both of those actors eventually won, another fact is stranger yet: Those are the only black performers ever to be nominated for more than two Oscars.