The 2019 Oscars were a historic event for black Hollywood both on and off screen. For the first time in the history of the Academy Awards, seven black men and women were awarded for their contributions to film.
Regina King won the first award of the ceremony, supporting actress, for her role as Tish’s mother Sharon in Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk.
Her performance has been praised by fans and critics and she was tipped to win. While her supporting actor Oscar this year may have come as no surprise, what has been shocking for many is that King’s first Oscar.
Ruth Carter became the first black woman to win an Oscar for costume design for her work on the epic superhero film and her colleague Hannah Bleacher became the first black woman to win an Oscar for production design.
Carter declared the door “wide open” after her historic win.
Bleacher, who shares the win with Jay Hart, said: “This has been a long time coming.
“Marvel may have created the first black superhero but through costume design, we turned him into an African king.”
Spike Lee was awarded the best-adapted-screenplay Oscar for BlacKkKlansman alongside Kevin Willmott. It’s the first non-honorary Oscar for the director who has previously been recognised by the Academy for his contributions to filmmaking.
Accepting his award, Lee said: “Before the world tonight, I give praise to our ancestors who have built this country into what it is today along with the genocide of its native people. We all connect with our ancestors. We will have love and wisdom regained, we will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilise. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there.”
Mahershala Ali took home the Oscar for best-supporting actor for his performance in Green Book. It’s the actor’s second Oscar win, he won in the same category in 2017 for Moonlight, and sees him become the second black actor to win two Academy Awards.
A big congratulations to black excellence!