In 2016, I remember the uproar caused by the Academy Awards for their (severe) lack of representation in their nominees' list. To further explain, not a single Black actor was nominated for an Oscar. This was the second year in a row this occurred, which caused a justifiable boycott of the Academy Awards by the Black Community in Hollywood and those who support them. After this blow-up, the 2017 Oscars had a much better list of nominees, let alone Black winners such as Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis. Last year was also a relatively good year for diversity at the Oscars as well.
However, this year, the Oscars had a brilliant list of nominees with so many important movies to choose from. I could not be prouder of the people and movies that have won this year. Representation is so incredibly important. Movies affect people's lives in a way that you never really notice until something like the topic of representation comes up. I didn't know how much I needed an iconic Indian-American female power role until I discovered The Mindy Project a year after it ended. The sense of profound relatability that I felt watching a show that didn't have a skinny, white woman* as the lead was so cathartic. With movies like "Black Panther", "Roma" and "Bohemian Rhapsody", there are so many diverse people being shown that can give people a sense that their stories are also important and being told.*Because of today's social climate, I would like to make it clear that there is nothing wrong about being skinny or white. Powerful women are powerful women. The reason for my comment was to display how that is the usual lead actress that we see in most movies and TV shows, which isn't representative of the entire population.
Here are some of the iconic wins:
1. Rami Malek wins Best Actor in a Lead Role.
Rami Malek is the first Egyptian-American to win an Oscar in this category.
2. Mahershala Ali wins Best Supporting Actor.
Mahershala Ali has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor two years in a row and has won both times. His first win was for "Moonlight", this year's win was for his role in "Green Book", which also won Best Picture.
3. Regina King won Best Supporting Actress.
Regina King won Best Supporting Actress for "If Beale Street Could Talk". This was her first nomination and first win for an Academy Award.
4. Ruth Carter won for Best Costume Design for "Black Panther".
Ruth Carter has been nominated for Best Costume Design 3 times, and finally won for her beautiful vision for "Black Panther".
5. "Period. End of Sentence." won for Best Documentary (Short).
"Period. End of Sentence." is a documentary about a rural village outside of Delhi in India and the fight to have easy access to feminine hygiene products.
6. BlacKkKlansman won for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee all won for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) for the incredible and very true story of the first Black cop in the Colorado Springs Police Department infiltrating the KKK.
7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won for Best Animated Feature Film.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won for Best Animated Feature Film. This movie for people of all ages has a mixed (Black and Puerto Rican) young boy as the lead, which was revolutionary for children who were able to see someone that looked like them, be a freakin' superhero!
8. Alfonso Cuarón won for Best Directing and Best Cinematography.
Alfonso Cuarón won two very well-deserved Oscars for his beautiful piece about the life of a maid in Mexico going through both personal and political struggles.
This was an amazing night for all Americans. Let's hope that the Academy keeps up the beautiful and diverse work.