Last night, February cover star Lupita Nyong’o made Oscar history as only the sixth black actor to win Best Supporting Actress. Picking up the award, she paid tribute to "the spirit of Patsey for her guidance and for Solomon – thank you for telling her story and your own".
Speaking to reporters backstage, she admitted: "I'm a little dazed, I can't believe this (award) is in my hands, I can't believe this is real life, I'm just really overwhelmed." Thanks for the shoutout, Lupita!
In her Dazed cover feature, she said, "I liked to (act), but I didn’t know it was a vocation, not until I saw The Color Purple and saw people like me onscreen." Hopefully, her historic win will inspire a few aspiring Lupitas out there – or, as she put it on the Academy stage, "when I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that your dreams are valid."
Nyong'o, who played Patsey, a young slave on a plantation, wasn't the only big winner from 12 Years a Slave. The groundbreaking depiction of slave-era Louisiana also won Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture: director Steve McQueen literally jumped for joy onstage as they received the latter award.
In his acceptance speech, McQueen issued a message of support for "the 21 million people who still endure slavery" and quoted from the film, saying "everyone deserves not just to survive but to live".
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