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Lupita Nyongo Wins 1st Major Award Of The Season. Watch Her Moving Acceptance Speech

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by Tambay A. Obenson
January 17, 2014 1:57 PM
17 Comments
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It's certainly not the first award she's won, for her performance in 12 Years A Slave (she was recognized by a few film critics organizations, as well as some film festivals), but it's the first time I've seen her win and give an acceptance speech on a televised awards show - especially one of some significance.


In what I'd say is her biggest win of the awards season thus far, she got a standing ovation from her peers, and delivered a graceful and emotional acceptance speech, which should resonate, and carry on through to the Oscars.

The Critics' Choice Awards aired on the CW last night, and not only did 12 Years A Slave take home the top prize (Best Picture), co-star Lupita Nyong'o picked up the award for Best Supporting Actress

Watch her moving speech below:

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17 Comments

  • deecreative | January 19, 2014 2:36 AMReply

    Hollywood? She can do any kind of movie, people need to stop looking directly to one collective, what you all forget is that 12 years is not a hollywood movie per se...I just don't want to see any more slave movies for a LONG WHILE if it's of that time it needs to be a biopic *cough* Toussaint movie. Idris, Thandie, Kerry, they know people, I could care less if 12 years wins an oscar because we know it's a good movie and that seems to be the only types of roles we win for anyway.

  • nu | January 17, 2014 9:42 PMReply

    She is in a tough position. 1. Any romantic lead she has will HAVE to be white. Hollywood will not pair her with Idris or any other black man. 2. They will urge her to change her appearance to have more "universal appeal." 3. She will be competing with Zoe Saldana, Thandie Newton, Kerry Washington and other women whose skin tones white americans are more comfortable with.

  • troll hunter | January 21, 2014 9:36 PM

    Hey Carey

    Stop trolling ya phluckin loser. Get a hooker and viagra or something. You are pathetic.

  • CareyCarey | January 21, 2014 8:30 PM

    LL2, don't get me wrong, I am with you, I want the best for Lupita (not give up on her dream). So, as I said before, I was just wondering... pondering the question what she could do or what has to happen in order for her career opportunities to match that of white actors, past and present.

    You said "race is a major issue... as for what needs to change, there definitely needs to be more people of color in positions of power in Hollywood in order to improve the number and quality of the roles available"

    Well LL2, I will not blame the "problem" on racism. Nor do I believe adding more people of color will significantly improve the roles she's offered. I'll tell you why.

    There are roles, past and present, that she could fit right in, but it all comes down to what roles the white audience will "accept" her in. I mean, be it racism, lack of empathy or however one wishes to define it, it's a proven fact that the vast majority of whites do not spend their dollars on black films, and if it does not make money, it does not make good business sense to the American film industry. That quandary lead me to the careers of other black actors, male and female. I was looking to see how they managed to evade the color issue, yet have a successful career in which most actors would die for (i.e. Denzel, Will Smith, Samuel Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Sidney Poitier).

    On the female side I've already mentioned a few of the careers I looked at (i.e. Pam Grier, Dorothy Dandridge, Leana Horne, Halle Barry, Fredi Washington). Now I can add Angela Bassett, Viola Davis and Ruby Dee. Now I don't know if any of their careers would be considered "to die for", yet some would call them "successful", but with limitations. So again, I was looking to find what type of roles got them over and which were a no go -- and why?

    My last research took me to past female Oscar winners and nominees (Best Actress and Best Supporting actress) over the last 25 years. I was looking to see if a black actress could have jumped in those roles without disturbing the basic story (is the character's skin color vital to the storyline)? If not, I was wondering which parts/roles the white audience will accept Lupita (a dark skin actress) with open arms.

    In short, I would suggest that you LL2 (or anyone) do the same research and then we can have an informed conversation on Lupita's future; what she can change, what will never change and whether or not more PoC in power positions (writers, producers, shot-callers, etc), will add in her journey?

  • LL2 | January 20, 2014 12:57 AM

    @CC

    I definitely agree with you that unfortunately, race is a major issue in Hollywood. But what would you suggest, that Lupita give up on her dream? Its a major undertaking but if this is what she wants, she should find a way to do it. Like I said, it won't be easy.

    As for what needs to change, there definitely needs to be more people of color in positions of power in Hollywood in order to improve the number and quality of the roles available. However, it will take a while for that to happen. In the meantime, a foundation has to be laid for that to happen. Barack Obama didn't just become president on his own, it was due to the foundation laid by Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson and all those others who came before him. Some people are trailblazers who create the path for others to come along and build upon their work. Maybe that is a part of Lupita's purpose.

  • CC | January 20, 2014 12:25 AM

    Okay LL2, I understand. So lets talk about my original question and your response.

    I said, "Anyway, I'm just wondering what Lupita can do different than the above talented and beautiful actresses ( i.e. Pam Grier, Dorothy Dandridge, Leana Horne, Halle Barry, Fredi Washington, just to name a few), so her career will be as rounded and varied as her white counterparts?"

    You basically suggested that Lupita just has to be pro-active... get out there and make things happen for herself. Okay, that sounds good, fine and dandy, knock down door, rub shoulders with the right folks, beg and lobby one's way to the top, but there's one thing we should not minimize (which I think you're doing), Lupita is a black woman.

    So let me add the following words to the conversation: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference" ~ Serenity Prayer

    LL2, I am suggesting that Lupita's skin color will never change and regardless of what some would have you believe, her color is the very first thing one notices when she appears on the screen... and that will never change. So, given that to be a fact and assuming the mentioned black actresses before her did all the things you've suggested, what has to change (or can be changed) in order for her career (roles, body of work, opportunity to take on a variety of roles, longevity, etc) to be markedly different than theirs?

  • LL2 | January 19, 2014 11:19 PM

    @CC
    I wasn't really talking about "longevity" either. I'm just looking at the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. I was reframing the situation in regards to Lupita's career prospects in Hollywood.

  • CC | January 19, 2014 3:14 AM

    LL2, I don't think we're talking about "longevity".

  • LL2 | January 18, 2014 8:46 AM

    @CC
    Good point! But its not hopeless, she will just have to think outside the box. This is where her ability to network and "hustle" will come in handy. She can't just look for opportunities, she has to learn to be able to create them for herself. That's how Hollywood and the world works, minority or not. Jonah Hill, who received an Oscar nomination for his role in "The Wolf of Wall Street", was talking about how he lobbied Leonardo Dicaprio for a role in the movie. Leonardo in turn lobbied Martin Scorsese on his behalf that is how he got the role. So I would say Lupita shouldn't wait for people to call her or create roles for her. She needs to be willing to get out there and put her social skills and networking skills to work. It won't be easy, but its definitely essential to her longevity in Hollywood.

  • CC | January 17, 2014 10:17 PM

    EXACTLY! I didn't wanna open that Pandora's box but her "skin tone" **darkcoughchocolatecough** will be a barrier. Now I don't quite know what exact changes they would request of her, but "universal appeal" favors light-skinned actresses, unless said actress is playing the role of.... well... _________________fill in the blank.

  • CareyCarey | January 17, 2014 8:30 PMReply

    "I hope this is only the beginning for her." .. " I hope she gets more roles to display her talent and beauty."

    Yes, lets keep our fingers crossed. However, unfortunately, like other rare talented and beautiful actress before her who wears her same color ( i.e. Pam Grier, Dorothy Dandridge, Leana Horne, Halle Barry, Fredi Washington, just to name a few) she's stymied behind the proverbial eight ball. Yes, the 8 ball is black.

    Unlike her white counterparts, Lupita faces the challenge of fighting the "Burden of Representation". She will always face the challenge of taking a role in which some folks (black folks) consider as a negative portrayal/image of a black person. Think Halle Barry (Monster's Ball), Mo'nique (Precious) Hattie McDaniels (Gone With The Wind), Octavia Spencer (The Help). Her white counterparts do not face that burden. And, white actresses, for the most part, can pick their on-screen love interest (tons of them) without worry of his skin color, but not Lupita. Not only will there be protests/outrage/ pause from blacks and whites if her love interests is a white man, black on black on-screen love is seldom seen in American cinema. And, will the powers that be EVER focus on her "beauty", writing roles that centers on her good looks, or will it just be passing fodder and side notes at award's shows?

    All that to say if Lupita Nyongo is to reach a higher level, it will come with a "price". And, she will need the assistance of all to let her stretch her wings and leave politics and petty agendas on the sidelines. I mean, racism/racists will live on, that's not gonna change, but we can change how we've viewed and treated our black performers and the roles they've taken.

    Anyway, I'm just wondering what Lupita can do different than the above actresses, so her career will have a better ending?

  • janet | January 17, 2014 7:47 PMReply

    She was amazing in the film and is charming Hollywood with her beauty, humor and grace.
    Fingers crossed...

  • Ava | January 17, 2014 6:34 PMReply

    A poignant as well as witty acceptance speech. Very endearing. I hope this is only the beginning for her.

  • Barbara | January 17, 2014 6:15 PMReply

    The photos you posted of her don't do her justice. She is an absolutely stunningly beautiful young Black woman. On a beauty scale of 1-10, she's a 10! I, and all of my friends are in awe of her beauty.

    Congrats to her on her win. I hope she gets more roles to display her talent and beauty.

  • James | January 17, 2014 2:24 PMReply

    Great combination of humility, poise and genuine sweetness. All done without swearing. Great job and so deserving. She really should get the Oscar and everything else before!!

  • Alias | January 20, 2014 10:40 PM

    @ James. I couldn't agree more!! Lupita is so classy and elegant and refreshing!!
    Here's hoping she takes Oscar home!!

  • Justin D. | January 17, 2014 2:06 PMReply

    Sweet. Here's hoping she nabs that Oscar.

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