The film industry has received a lot of criticism in the past for not recognizing Black actors and actresses, but this year’s Academy Awards was quite different. 31-year old actress Lupita Nyong’o won the Best Supporting Actress award, and the same movie she starred in, 12 Days A Slave, won the Best Film award.
Nyong’o, who is of Kenyan descent, played Patsey, a tortured slave in the Steve McQueen-directed film. Obviously, her performance was amazing, as she has also won a SAG award, a Spirit Award, and a NAACP Image Award.
After winning her Oscar, she said in her speech, “Thank you to the academy for this incredible recognition. It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is due to so much pain in someone else’s.” She then credited McQueen for bringing attention to a dark chapter in American history, and the victims of slavery.
She added, “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every child, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”
The evening of the 86th annual Academy Awards, was hosted by none other than Ellen Degeneres, and was held in Los Angeles, California at the Dolby Theatre. Other names that came up with big wins included Matthew McConaughey who won the Best Actor Award, and Cate Blanchett who won the Best Actress Award.
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