African Americans aplenty at Academy Awards

Selena Roberts |Staff Writer

The Oscars are right around the corner, and this event is sure to be monumental.

The show broke barriers for African Americans last year. Viola Davis won the coveted statue of Best Supporting Actress for her work in Fences. Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Oscar for his role as Juan in Moonlight, and the film won for Best Picture as well.

Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis announced the 24 categories Jan. 23, and the nominees consisted of several people of color. Jimmy Kimmel is set to host the 90th awards show.

Mary J. Blige is nominated in two categories for her work in the movie Mudbound. In the film, Blige plays Florence Jenkins. She earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song.

Blige’s nominations are groundbreaking, as she has become the first person to be nominated for her portrayal in a film and for the original song. She is also the first African American woman to be nominated for more than one Oscar in the same year.

Mudbound tells the story of two men who come home after serving duty in World War II. They both endure trials and tribulations when facing prejudice in a divided area. The film also earned nominations for Cinematography and Adapted Screenplay.

Get Out was one of 2017’s biggest films to date. It provided an open dialogue for current issues regarding race in America through its subliminal messages and storyline. The film earned a total of four nominations, including Best Picture, Daniel Kaluuya for Best Actor and Jordan Peele for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

Peele could win three Oscars, as he also produced the movie.

“Right now I’m just thinking about everyone who bought a ticket and told someone else to. You did this. Thank you,” director Jordan Peele tweeted after receiving the nominations.

Thanks to the movie Dear Basketball, NBA star Kobe Bryant can add “Actor” to his resume. Kobe Bryant’s film received a nomination for Best Animated Short Film.

“This is beyond the realm of imagination. It means so much that the Academy deemed Dear Basketball worthy of contention,” Bryant tweeted.

The short film showcases the former Los Angeles Lakers star’s love for basketball and how hard it was for him to ultimately forfeit playing the sport he loves.

Octavia Spencer is no stranger when it comes to the Oscars. This year, Spencer earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role as Zelda in The Shape of Water.

The movie is about a woman who works at top-secret government lab during the ’60s. While working there, she finds companionship with a sea creature who is held captive. Spencer’s nomination for The Shape of Water has made history as well. She is the only African American actress to receive two nominations after previously winning the award for The Help in 2011.

ABC will televise the Oscars at 8 p.m. March 4.

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