Spike Lee, Regina King, “Black Panther” and More Win at 91st Academy Awards
Style Magazine Newswire | 2/25/2019, 1:33 p.m.
by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)
2019 is arguably the year of #OscarsSoBlack. According to the Los Angeles Times, this year set the record for the most individual Black winners of Academy Awards, with seven victors in six categories.
Regina King kicked it all off by winning first award of the evening for Best Supporting Actress for her work in “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Already a recipient of a Golden Globe for the same role, King gave an emotional, touching acceptance speech.
“To be standing here, representing one of the greatest artists of our time, James Baldwin, is a little surreal,” King said. “James Baldwin birthed this baby, and Barry [Jenkins, the director], you nurtured her, you surrounded her with so much love and support. So it’s appropriate for me to be standing here because I am an example of what happens when support and love is poured into someone.”
“Black Panther” collaborators Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler made history with their wins, becoming the first African Americans to take home Oscars for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design, respectively.
“Marvel may have created the first black superhero, but through costume design, we made him an African king,” Carter said. Among those she thanked was director Ryan Coogler, whom she called “a guiding force.”
Beachler also acknowledged Coogler in her acceptance speech. “I stand here with agency and self-worth because of [director] Ryan Coogler, who not only made me a better designer, a better storyteller, a better person. When you think things are impossible, remember ‘I did my best, and my best is good enough.’”
Spike Lee, along with writers Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott (who is black), won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Black KkKlansman.”
After full-body hugging presenter (and “Jungle Fever” alum) Samuel L. Jackson, in his acceptance speech Lee paid tribute to his grandmother, whose mother was a slave, who lived to be 100 years old and put him through Morehouse College and New York University film school.
Lee also made the first direct political comments of the night: “The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize, let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate,” he said.
“Let’s do the right thing!” Lee added. “You know I had to get that in there.”
Additionally, Peter Ramsey, co-director of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” won for Best Animated Feature.
Mahershala Ali won the Best Supporting Actor award for the second time in his career for his portrayal of pianist Don Shirley in “Green Book.” That movie also went on later in the evening to win the Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture categories.
Below is the full list of winners:
“Green Book” (WINNER)
“A Star Is Born”
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma” (WINNER)
Adam McKay, “Vice”