Nobody could tell Regina King anything last night at the 93rd Oscars! With her shoulder-length bob and 63,000 count rhine-stoned dress, she was the eyecandy of the entire Oscars (alongside Angela Bassett). King came to slay, not play! Can you believe its the 93rd Academy Oscars?
Last night history was made again for Women of Color. The Oscars were held at the Union Station this year in Los Angeles, CA due to the COVID-19 pandemic, following their canceled show last year. Even though the Oscars wasn’t held at it’s beauty haven, the Dolby Theatre, the Union Station was just as good….so we’ve heard. With no red carpret or real host, the Oscars still went on and made it’s mark. People of Color is still such a high-priority topic when it comes to the Oscars because there are a lot of great and talented women and minority creators who have paved the way for others in the long run.
Paving the Way!
Back in the 1940’s there was a woman by the name of Hattie McDaniels, American actress, singer-songwriter and comedian who paved a way for Black actors and actresses. She was the first African-American to ever win an Oscar for her role of Mammy in ‘Gone with the Wind.’ McDaniel is acknowledged as a trailblazer of diversity and inlcusion. So who said Black People don’t deserve credit and can’t perform at top-teir levels in their careers?
Those are barriers we fight through everyday and it has been going on for years and years. And we don’t stop; as more women of color filled those roles as winners of ‘Best Supporting Actress’ The same category has reoccured again with two Black women actresses in the running. In 1973, Cicely Tyson (Sounder) won an Oscar for her role as well as Diana Ross won an Oscar for ‘Lady Sings the Blues’ for her role as Billie Holiday at the 45th Academy Awards. Whoopi Goldberg has hosted the Oscars four times beginning in 1994 to 2002, and that was another proud moment marked in the history books; that same year, Halle Berry won an Oscar as well! — Goldberg is the second black woman to win an Oscar in 1991 in her role in the movie ‘Ghost’ that was 30 years ago!
Since then six Black women including Regina King (Seven Seconds) has won an Oscar. She has won for her role in the movie ‘If Beale Street Could Talk.’ — Let’s also not forget, in 2014, Black Panther actress Lupita Nyong’o won her first Oscar in the movie ’12 years a Slave’ for Best Supporting Actress. That was Nyong’s first Oscar ever and breakout role in a movie! While all of these dynamic women are winning in the film industry, that doesn’t stop the greatness and abundance of us all to keep striving to continue to obtain the honor and respect that we deserve and believe in.
Then and Now
Even though this year’s Oscar Awards show wasn’t in the norm, history was still made! Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson were the first Black Women to be nominated and to win in the Best Make-up and Hairstyling category in the film ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ with Viola Davis.
— And that’s not all! R n B artist H.E.R. made history by becoming the first Black woman to win in the Best Sound category for her song on ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ called ‘Fight for You’; making this her FIRST Oscar Award that was followed by her Grammy winning for Song of the Year: ‘I Can’t Breathe.’
Even though actress and singer Andra Day was nominated for the Best Actress Award for her lead role in ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” and Viola Davis for her role in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,’ and didn’t pull any wins, they are still hard-working and deserving women, period! We were rooting for everyone black at the Oscars but some things still won’t change in that department. One of those ladies should have won, but there is always next year right? — More history has been made with Women of Color. Asian native Chloe Zhao made history by becoming the second woman to win in the category of Best Director, but FIRST woman of color to win in that category! Snagging two awards last night for her movie ‘Nomandland,’ her hometown China is celebrating the big win. And there’s no way we can forget the FIRST Korean woman Yuh Jung Youn to win Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘Minari’
Women of color are important to the human culture and there are times where some aren’t recongnized for their talent and work behind the scenes and in front of the scenes. McDaniel paved the way and fought to pave the way, opening up doors for women of color in the entertainment and film insdustry especially for the Oscars. — Do you remember when Halle Berry started a boycott at the 2016 Oscar Awards when all 20 nominations were Whites only? Right then and there changes had to be made because the nation’s biggest award show lacked diversity of all races. Black voices were heard and the changes were made allowing Black nominations to be on board at the awards show.
Then you have someone like the veteran Angela Bassett who has been in the film industry for years and hasn’t won an Oscar yet! She was nominated in 1994 for her lead role in ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It.’ She deserves to be recognized for her talent and work in all the films she contributed too whether they were leads or not! Women like Bassett deserve the spotlight and as Black women, sometimes we aren’t recongnized enough for our work, or not recognized at all!
The legacy of women of color winning each season will always be celebrated, maybe not on live televsion or on various award shows, but there will always be some type of event or empowerment from our own. It is up to us to build and maintain a supportive community that will be rooting for everything Black and for women of color making a difference in the world.