This year Black actors and filmmakers were recognized at the Academy Awards more than ever before. During its annual award ceremony last night, Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Barry Jenkins and Tarell McCraney won Best Screenplay, and "Moonlight" took home the biggest award of the night, Best Picture. Plus, Katherine Johnson, one of the African American women who helped send NASA to space, was honored on the Oscar stage. See all of these amazing Black and beautiful Oscar moments unfold below:
"It's not about you. It's about these characters. You're a servant...."- Mahershala Ali
"And now, please welcome a true NASA and American hero, Katherine Johnson."- Taraji P. Henson
"People ask me, what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? I say, exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories."- Viola Davis, now the first Black person to achieve the "Triple Crown of Acting" (which is an Oscar, Tony and Emmy award in the acting categories).
"All you people out there who think there’s no mirror for you, that your life is not reflected, the academy has your back. The ACLU has your back. We have your back. And for the next four years, we will not leave you alone. We will not forget you."-Barry Jenkins
Pictured above is Barry Jenkins' reaction to finding out that "Moonlight" won Best Picture instead of "La La Land", which was incorrectly announced as the winner by Warren Beatty. Once the mistake was corrected, "Moonlight" became the first film with an all-Black cast to win Best Picture.
Congratulations to you all! And thank you for using your gifts and talents to tell our stories.