The slavery drama “12 Years a Slave” won the Academy Award for best picture on Sunday, and became the first movie from a black director to win the honor.

British director Steve McQueen’s portrayal of pre-Civil War American slavery also won two other Oscars, including best supporting actress for Lupita Nyong’o and John Ridley  won for best adapted screenplay based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a free man sold into slavery in Louisiana.

“Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon,” McQueen said. “I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today.”

McQueen also won the best director and best feature award at the Independent Spirit Awards, Saturday night.


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  • Many congratulations to Steve McQueen, Lupita Nyong’o and John Ridley for their awards at the Oscars last night for 12 Years A Slave, though I would’ve also wanted Chiwetel to be included in the group. I hope these successes and recognitions, collectively, encourage and incite a progressive change in Hollywood that sees more Black and African (diasporic) personalities receive more spearheading, prominent opportunities in the industry and its output. I know it will be a very long process but one to change the face of society.

    • Nirvana

      Well said. Steve is a genius. I knew if from the time I saw “Hunger.” He’s one of the best directors whose work I’ve ever seen. This is only his third film, and I’m sure there’s much more impressive material on the way. I big congrats to John Ridley and Lupita as well. Chiwetel fairly lost to McConaughey’s brilliant performance, but his time will come.

      On a different note, I believe McQueen was robbed in the Best Director category. He did far superior work than Cuarón did in the CGI-heavy Gravity. Pharrell was completely robbed as well. For now, I’m just happy with more Black people being bold enough to spearhead lucrative projects, because I personally think that Black folks cannot be touched when it comes to the Arts.

    • MimiLuvs

      I hope last night’s moment will be consider the moment that cause a shift in “Black Hollywood”. I want this moment to inspire Black movie directors, screenplay writers, casting directors, producers and actors to think outside of their comfort zones, when it comes to their crafts. I also want them to remain steadfast and fight for their craft because I know Hollyweird execs tend to bully and subliminally bully writers and producers to make their characters more “believable”.
      I know that I am asking for a lot with this one: Now, I want to see (in the future)different types of Black cinema nominated for awards rather than films about indentured servitude, slavery or (for me, the worst out of the bunch) “slapstick drama”. I would love to see films about mental illness/physical illness (something like “The Dallas Buyers Club”), love/seeking love (something like “Her”) or about familial relationships (something like “Blue Jasmine” or “August Osage County”), but with casts that are predominantly Black.

  • 1Love

    It is a damn shame that the Academy has been this racist for this long. I no longer look for whites for approval, so they can give out all the awards they want. Much respect to Steve McQueen though.

  • Avril

    I am so proud of the entire cast, I don’t have the words to describe it really. Thank you Steve McQueen for taking the time to put this movie together. Thank you to the incredibly talented John Ridley for this amazing adaptation, and all the actors for their amazing, heartbreaking performances.

  • binks

    LOL at the gif! But congrats to the whole team for making such a great film. I hope this pushes the envelope a bit more by representing that black people have many stories to tell and we can tell it in such a way that everybody can not only notice and acknowledge them but try to understand and examine our range as individuals and not be automatically labeled as a “black” film or story.