Monday, March 3, 2014

Lupita Nyong'o wins Academy Award for 12 Years A Slave

By Tenisha Mercer

She was the unknown actor, who delivered a memorable, blockbuster performance as Patsey the slave in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. And now actress Lupita Nyong'o, who has wowed everyone on the red carpet with her bold, daring and colorful style, can now add yet another impressive award to her collection -- Academy Award Winner.

Actress Lupita Nyong'o wins Academy Award for 12 Years a Slave
Lupita Nyong'o wins Oscar for Best Performance in a Supporting Role
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Just like that, Nyong'o made history Sunday night when she won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role -- rare for a first-time actor. And for a role that was tough, emotional and heart wrenching -- an ugly part of history that all of us would like to forget, but can't. Our story, told by us.

Lupita's reaction to winning the Oscar, pictured with her brother

And, just as awesome and thought-provoking as Nyong'o's role as Patsey was her Oscar acceptance speech. Tears streamed down her face as Nyong'o, her voice raw and choking with emotion, said:

"Thank you to the Academy for this incredible recognition. It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.
Steve McQueen, you charge everything you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. Thank you so much for putting me in this position, it’s been the joy of my life. [Tears, applause.] I’m certain that the dead are standing about you and watching and they are grateful and so am I.

Chiwetel, thank you for your fearlessness and how deeply you went into Solomon, telling Solomon’s story. Michael Fassbender, thank you so much. You were my rock. Alfre and Sarah, it was a thrill to work with you. Joe Walker, the invisible performer in the editing room, thank you. Sean Bobbitt, Kalaadevi, Adruitha, Patty Norris, thank you, thank you, thank you — I could not be here without your work.

I want to thank my family, for your training [laughs] and the Yale School of Drama as well, for your training. My friends the Wilsons, this one’s for you. My brother Junior sitting by my side, thank you so much, you’re my best friend and then my other best friend, my chosen family.

When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you."
I couldn't help but cry after hearing the speech. Tears for every young, Black girl who has ever been told that she can't, that she couldn't, that she shouldn't. Tears for the countless Patsey's, who could not even dare to believe, to dream, to understand that, one day their stories would be told. And told so well.

What Lupita Wore

Lupita wore a beautiful pastel blue gown by Prada with a plunging neckline and full, pleated bottom. I was a bit surprised by the color choice -- Lupita is known for her bold wardrobe color choices. Her hair was smoothed down and fashioned into her trademark TWA and accented with a diamond headband.

Congrats, Lupita!!!

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