Spike Lee + Regina King Ooze Black Excellence at the 2019 Oscar Awards

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The Oscars made history with 7 record wins for black men and women. 

Regina King is Queen
After decades of work, Regina King received her first Oscar nomination as well as her first Oscar award. She secured the win for Best Supporting Actress in the romantic tragedy If Beale Street Could Talk. King paid tribute to the amazing James Baldwin and director Barry Jenkins. She thanked her mother, her date for the evening, and accepted the help of Chris Evans as she untangled her dress and approached the stage.

And Spike Lee is Ecstatic  
Spike Lee received his first ever Oscar award for the adapted screenplay BlacKkKlansmen, the story of an African American man who infiltrates the KKK in an attempt to prove the severity of the organization. Lee jumped into the arms of long time friend and Morehouse brother Samuel L. Jackson once receiving the award – excited with glee and filled with undeniable happiness.

Spike’s Significance Fans have watched Lee fight through the world of film for years, determined to create art that caters to the Black lens. Lee was nominated in 1990 for his screenplay Do The Right Thing and in 1998 for 4 Little Girls, with many suggesting he was snubbed both years. Lee did receive an honorary Oscar in 2015 for his contribution to cinema, but 2019 marks his first Academy award in a competitive category.

Spike’s Speech 
Spike Lee took to the stage with excitement, but also used his moment of recognition to share a portion of his personal journey and ancestry. Lee mentions the current social climate and makes note of the 2020 presidential election. Here’s his speech below:

“Alright. Alright. I want to thank Tonya, Jack and Satchel. The word today is irony. The date the 24th. The month February, which also happens to be the shortest month of the year, which also happens to be Black History Month. The year 2019, the year 1619. History, Herstory. 1619 to 2019, 400 years. 400 years our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and brought to Jamestown, Virginia, enslaved. Our ancestors worked the land from can’t see in the morning to can’t see at night. My grandmother, Zimmie Shelton Reatha, who lived to be 100 years young, who was a Spelman College graduate even though her mother was a slave. My grandma who saved 50 years of Social Security checks to put her first grandchild – she called me Spikie Poo – she put me through Morehouse College and NYU Grad Film. NYU!

Before the world tonight, I give praise for our ancestors who helped build this country and [unintelligible] today along with the genocide of its native people. If we all connect with our ancestors, we will have love, wisdom, we will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. 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. Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there!”

Annsleigh Denise is a graduate of Spelman College, earning a Bachelor's Degree in English and a Minor in Multi-Media and Professional Writing. She is a multifaceted creative, focused on the inner-workings of print, publication, and Broadcast Journalism. Possessing notable editorial skills, Annsleigh aspires to utilize her professional experience to impact the world of media.

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