While The Academy Awards of recent years have noticeably been lacking in melanin, but the 89th Annual Academy Awards sought to correct #OscarsSoWhite in one night. It’s hard to argue that it was one of the Blackest Oscars in recent memory, if not ever.
Just before the red carpet got underway, the night began on social media as stars like Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, and Tracee Ellis Ross used their platform to share a powerful reminder of what took place on this day 5 years ago, when 17-year-old Trayvon Martin lost his life.
The Oscars themselves started out with a bang when Mahershala Ali won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and gave a speech that had us reaching for the tissues:
Later in the night, after a surprise win, O.J.: Made in America director Ezra Edelman spoke to the forgotten story behind O.J. Simpson‘s infamous trial:
Then, in perhaps the most emotional moment of the night, Viola Davis finally brought home her first career Oscar, thanking God that she is able to work as an artist:
Near the end of the show, Barry Jenkins and Tarell Mc Craney made stirring speeches in defense of the ACLU and those combatting the discrimination existing in the White House, and also spoke to young men and women of color, especially those of the LGBTQ community to remind them that they are not alone.
And then, in the strangest way possible, Moonlight won Best Picture:
With the numerous wins, and brave and emotional words of the winners, this year’s Academy Awards will be remembered for years to come. Hopefully it is a sign of even great diversity in Hollywood in the very near future.