The 35th Council District celebrates its own Spike Lee on his first Oscar win! His film BlacKkKlansman won Best Adapted Screenplay, and the night was historic for many! There were a total of seven Black artists who took home awards in seven different categories on Oscar Sunday.
Regina King, Mahershala Ali, Peter Ramsey, Spike Lee, Ruth Carter, Hannah Beachler, and Kevin Willmott all took home awards, an unprecedented number of wins for Black artists.
Women also roared at the 91st Academy Awards, picking up a record–breaking 15 trophies, the most in Oscar history. With 39 male winners this year, women earned nearly 27.8 percent of the statuettes handed out.
The Oscars are changing. Period.
End of Sentence, a movie about menstruation, won an Oscar. This production sheds light on menstrual equity and access to period products, particularly in parts of the world where access to affordable menstrual products is scarce, and menstruation is sometimes considered dirty or unnatural.
There has been a movement to expand and diversify the membership of the Academy, and this year marks the third of a concerted effort by the Academy to identify and invite more women and people of color to join the organization. YES…WE NEED OUR SEATS AT THE TABLE!
When I think about the magnitude of the wins, it brings me back to Black Panther, the superhero adventure that transcended the genre to become a favored film by so many, winning three Oscars. We as a community in Brooklyn cherish these moments and I would like you to acknowledge when BAM did an early special feature release of Black Panther. The experience was complimented with BAMcinématek’s Fight the Power: Black Superheroes, a 28-film series that celebrated past mythical and iconic Black screen heroes.
Finally, we were pleased to see a handful of righteous people join Oscar night as presenters, including: Serena Williams, Congress Member John Lewis, Tyler Perry, Queen Latifah and others. For the first time, there was an effort of recognizing what we all knew, and that was God distributes talent and creativity equally and that all cultures have a valuable story to share.
Yours in partnership,
Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo