Monday, February 27

My thoughts on Octavia's Oscar Win...

I was happy to see Octavia Spencer take one home for the team yesterday.  She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 'The Help'.  Her acceptance speech was heart wrenching and so sincere and I celebrate with her.  The thing that bothers me is that in 84 years, Octavia is only the 5th African American to win an award for Best Supporting Actress.  Only 4 other Black women has graced the stage to accept that prestigious award before her:

1940 Hattie McDaniel - Gone with the Wind
1991 Whoppi Goldberg - Ghost
2006 Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls
2009 Mo'Nique - Precious

In one way there is a saving grace in seeing that the awards are coming closer together and we're not experiencing the 50 year gap there was before Whoppi Goldberg won in 1991.

I guess the question I have this week is: Is it important that we honor our own (with our own awards) or is is more beneficial to try to continue to break boundaries?  Do our own awards have as much 'weight' as the Oscars?  What do you think?

Video of her speech:


Karlyn said...

Great post Trey. We cannot and do not live in a bubble so we need both awards...My thoughts are that both awards are important and that we should continue to try to break boundaries. However these boundaries need to be strategic. The question is - how do we get more leading roles written for black women and how do we get them to be considered for these roles? The decision makers for the roles, the directing, writing etc - who are they? And are we represented there? Or do we have allies in these positions who care about diversity. Is there someone ensuring that we actually have different black females in these roles? Do they even care?
So yes as much as our talented black actresses should continue to break boundaries - they cannot do it alone.

Anonymous said...

Octavia Spencer deserves her Oscar and Viola Davis performance was also excellent even though she did not win. The more pertinent question, however,is whether in 2012 we should be celebrating roles of Black servants and maids. It was 72 years ago that Hattie McDaniel won for her role as a maid. But now in 2012? How far have we really come. Despite stellar performances by the two Black stars of the film, 'The Help' was not a good film certainly not by any artistic standards. The directing was pedestrian to say the least. The writing was tv movie of the week. Its public knowledge that Viola had to war with the director to make her character much more layered and realistic. The two excellent Black films I have seen in the recent past are 'Pariah' and 'Kinyarwanda'. Both of them should have nominated for Best Picture!