With the Oscars less than ten days away, all eyes are on Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for their star-making performances in The Help.  The actresses have racked up critical praise and a slew of awards for their roles of Aibileen Clark (Davis) and Minnie Jackson (Spencer), two African-American maids in white homes in 1960s Mississippi.  Now, Davis and Spencer are the frontrunners in the Oscar race for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively, and we wish them all the best! In celebration of their nominations and Black History Month, we compiled a retrospective of past winners.

[Halle Berry, Photo via]