Oscars 2019 records most black winners in Academic Awards history, including Mahershala Ali, Regina King

Spike Lee said of these wins at the Oscars, that they opened the academy to make it look more like America. That’s why three black women won.

FP Staff February 25, 2019 13:34:15 IST
Oscars 2019 records most black winners in Academic Awards history, including Mahershala Ali, Regina King
  • Ruth E. Carter won the award for costume design and Hannah Beachler walked away with the prize for production design for Black Panther

  • Regina King bagged the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Sharon Rivers in the film If Beale Street Could Talk

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse's co-director Peter Ramsey was also honoured with the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature

With seven wins in six categories, the 91st Academy Awards witnessed the most black Oscar winners at the 2019 ceremony, breaking the previous record of six wins in five categories set in 2017.

Early in the evening, Ruth E Carter won the Oscar for costume design while Hannah Beachler walked away with a golden statuette for production design, both for Marvel Studios' Black Panther. Not only were Carter and Beachler the first black ladies to bag the Oscar in these categories, they were also the first two people to win an Academy Award for the Marvel universe.

Oscars 2019 records most black winners in Academic Awards history including Mahershala Ali Regina King

Hannah Beachler and Ruth E Carter. Images via The Associated Press/Jordan Strauss

#OscarsSoWhite? was not quite the case at the 91st edition as Spike Lee, director of BlacKkKlansman, also won his first Academy Award in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay with Kevin Willmott for co-writing the film.

Through the course of the ceremony, two black actors won the Oscar for supporting actor and actress. Regina King bagged the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Sharon Rivers in the film If Beale Street Could Talk, and Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Peter Farrelly's Green Book.

Oscars 2019 records most black winners in Academic Awards history including Mahershala Ali Regina King

Regina King and Mahershala Ali were among the winners at the 2019 Academy Awards. Images via The Associated Press/Chris Pizzello

Discussing his win backstage, Lee was quoted thanking April Reign, the creator of #OscarsSoWhite and former academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. He said, "They opened the academy to make it look more like America. That’s why three black women, if I counted correctly, won."

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse's co-director Peter Ramsey was also honoured with the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature marking 2019 as a record breaking year for black winners at the Academy Awards.

In 2017, it was Moonlight that became the first all-black cast film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

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