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I am sure you’re all around a water cooler somewhere discussing the big win last night. Lupita Nyong’o graciously added the title Academy Award Winner to her resume last night when she took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. As soon as her name was called I felt my eyes watering, and of course when she started speaking I couldn’t hold back the tears. I don’t know what was so magical about the moment exactly, but it felt like the first time ever that a black woman has won the honor of Best Supporting Actress, although it’s not. Maybe it’s the way she graces the red carpet, and seeing another standard of beauty before my eyes. Or maybe it’s the fact that dreams really do come true, or as she said in her acceptance speech, that they are “valid”.

Lupita Nyong’o wins an Oscar for her first role straight out of Yale; that’s rare in and of itself. So maybe it’s because she looks like Cinderella and we’re all witnesses to her first dance at the ball:

When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.

Lupita Nyongo Oscar Awards Winner Twirl.jpg

Check out the full speech when you continue reading, and let me know your thoughts on the win, and it felt surreal to you:

 

Thank you to the Academy for this incredible recognition. It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.

Steve McQueen, you charge everything you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. Thank you so much for putting me in this position, it’s been the joy of my life. [Tears, applause.] I’m certain that the dead are standing about you and watching and they are grateful and so am I.

Chiwetel, thank you for your fearlessness and how deeply you went into Solomon, telling Solomon’s story. Michael Fassbender, thank you so much. You were my rock. Alfre and Sarah, it was a thrill to work with you. Joe Walker, the invisible performer in the editing room, thank you. Sean Bobbitt, Kalaadevi, Adruitha, Patty Norris, thank you, thank you, thank you — I could not be here without your work.

I want to thank my family, for your training [laughs] and the Yale School of Drama as well, for your training. My friends the Wilsons, this one’s for you. My brother Junior sitting by my side, thank you so much, you’re my best friend and then my other best friend, my chosen family.

When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.

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