The acting profession’s top award went to a black actor for the first time in 1964.
Sidney Poitier won the best actor Oscar for his role in Lilies of the Field. In the film, released the previous year, he played construction worker Homer Smith whom a group of nuns believe was sent to them by God to build their church.
The only other black person to win an Oscar was the best supporting actress award given to Hattie McDaniel in 1939 for her role in Gone with the Wind.
“It has been a long journey to this moment,” the actor said after he was presented with the prized statuette by actress Anne Bancroft.