Though she didn’t take home the prize, this year Ava DuVernay became the first black woman in history to be nominated for a Golden Globe for best director.
The indie director took a leap into the mainstream after helming Selma, the biopic about Martin Luther King, Jr. If she’s up for an Academy Award, she’ll once again be the first black woman nominated in a best director category.
However, as DuVernay has often said herself, she’s not the first black woman to be deserving of major award nominations. Film history is stamped with talented black women working behind the scenes. Here are just a few of many, many more you should familiarize yourself with.
1. Gina Prince-Bythewood