YES. Barry Jenkins just won his first Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Moonlight , along with playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, who wrote the work that the film is based on. It was all amazing and well-deserved, but this award also marked another Oscars first: This is the first Academy Awards ceremony to award more than three awards to black people. Yes, you read that right.
In his acceptance speech Jenkins addressed those who are underrepresented in media:
For all you people out there who feel like there’s no mirror for you, that your life it not reflected, the Academy has you back, the ACLU has your back, we have your back, and for the next four years we will not leave you alone. We will not forget you.
McCraney echoed the sentiment saying:
I just want to echo everything he just said, but I want to say thank God for my mother, who proved to me through her struggles and the struggles that Naomie Harris portrayed for you, that we can be somebody. Two boys from Liberty City up here representing 305. This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and nongender conforming who don’t see themselves, we’re trying to show you you and us. thank you, thank you. This is for you.
Jenkins may not have made history by becoming the first black person to win the Best Director award (no black women have even been nominated, by the way), but this win is important, validating, and the least the Academy could do.