The African American Film Critics Association (full disclosure I co-founded the organization) proclaimed that 2016 was the best year ever for black film. That bold statement will be validated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that hands out the Oscars. When they announce their nominees on January 24th no less than 10 blacks will receive nominations with a possibility of as many as 26. The record number of blacks nominated in a single year is 7 which was in 2013 the year that “12 Years a Slave” was an awards season front runner and eventually went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture and 2004 the year Jamie Foxx was a double nominee for “Ray” (Best Actor) and “Collateral” (Best Supporting Actor). The over abundance of possible black nominees this year is no small accomplishment and it isn’t due to some sort of quota system or affirmative action mandate. 2016 saw a record number of quality feature films and documentaries released about the black experience. All projects that were in the works and in production way before the #Oscarssowhite controversy blew up a couple of years ago. But this is no guarantee. The AMPAS has been full of surprises in the past. However, it will be hard for them to ignore so many great performances and incredible craftsmanship behind the scenes. The following is a list of the possible 2016 black Oscar nominees. Expect records to be broken and history to be made.

BLACK OSCAR NOMINEES

LIKELY:

PICTURE
Kimberly Stewart “Manchester by the Sea”
Pharrell Williams “Hidden Figures”
Denzel Washington “Fences”

DIRECTOR
Barry Jenkins “Moonlight”

Director Barry Jenkins on the set of “Moonlight.”

ACTOR
Denzel Washington “Fences”

ACTRESS
Ruth Negga “Loving”

Ruth Negga starred in “Loving” the story of an interracial couples fight to be legally married in the 1950s.

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali “Moonlight”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis “Fences”
Naomie Harris “Moonlight”

Naomie Harris shot all of her scenes for “Moonlight” in a week.

EDITING
Joi McMillon “Moonlight”

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Bradford Young “Arrival”

Bradford Young was the director of photography for the sci-fi drama “Arrival.”

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
August Wilson “Fences”
Barry Jenkins “Moonlight”

SONG
Pharrell Williams “Hidden Figures”
Common “13TH”

DOCUMENTARY
Raoul Peck “I am Not Your Negro”
Ezra Edelman “O.J. Made in America”
Ava DuVernay “13TH”

Ava DuVarney’s documentary “13th” unflinchingly examined America’s prison system.

MAYBE:

DIRECTOR
Denzel Washington “Fences”

Director Denzel Washington worked for nearly a decade on bringing Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson’s play “Fences” to the big screen.

ART DIRECTION
Wynn Thomas “Hidden Figures”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Janelle Monáe “Hidden Figures”
Octavia Spencer “Hidden Figures”

Janelee Monae delivers a star-making performance in “Hidden Figures.”

LONG SHOTS:

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Stephen Henderson “Fences”

DIRECTOR
Nate Parker “The Birth of a Nation”

ACTRESS
Taraji P. Henson “Hidden Figures”

Taraji P. Henson demonstrated her acting range in “Hidden Figures.”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Aja Naomi-King “The Birth of a Nation”

SCORE
Pharrell Williams