The 93rd Academy Awards, with its scaled-down glamor because of the COVID-19 pandemic, featured a handful of opportunities for Black performers to win the most coveted awards.
They included Judas and the Black Messiah’s Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield, as well as Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actors Viola Davis and, posthumously, Chadwick Boseman.
In the end, Kaluuya was the only Black artist to take home an Oscar in a major category, but it was still a night where plenty of history was made.
Here are some other memorable Black moments at the Oscars.
Daniel Kaluuya’s mom reaction to his speech
After delivering a moving acceptance speech, in which he honored the Black Panther Party, Kaluuya embarrassed his mother and sister, who were sitting in the audience.
"You got to celebrate life, man! We're breathing, walking, it's incredible. It's incredible," he said. "My mom, my dad, they had sex. It's amazing."
Regina King Mentions Dereck Chauvin Verdict In Opening Monologue
“I know that a lot of people at home want to reach for your remote when you feel like Hollywood is preaching to you but as a mother of a Black son, I know the fear that so many live with and no amount of fame or fortune changes that," Regina King said in kicking off the ceremony, before adding that if the verdict in the Chauvin trial had gone differently, she “might have traded in my heels for marching boots."
Black women making history
Congratulations to Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson for making history as the first Black people to be nominated for, and win, Academy Awards for make up and hairstyling. They were on the team, which included Sergio Lopez-Rivera, that did an amazing job of transforming Viola Davis in 1920s blues singer Ma Rainey in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
H.E.R. tells her truth
After taking home the Academy Award “Fight For You" from Judas and the Black Messiah, H.E.R. emphasized that artists have an awesome responsibility.
"Musicians, filmmakers I believe we have an opportunity and responsibility, to me, to tell the truth and to write history the way that it was and how it connects us to today and what we see going on in the world today," she said.
She continued: "Knowledge is power, music is power and as long as I’m standing I’m always going to fight for us, I’m always going to fight for my people and fight for what’s right and I think that’s what music does and that’s what storytelling does."
Two Distant Strangers wins best Live Action Short
Travon Free made history as the first Black filmmaker to win the Oscar for live-action short film.
Two Distant Strangers is a Groundhog Day-type film about a Black man killed over-and-over again by a cop. It was co-directed by Martin Desmond Roe.
Soul wins Best Animated Feature
The Disney Pixar film Soul, which featured Jamie Foxx doing voiceover for the main character Joe Gardner, won in the Best Animated Feature category.
However, some people on Twitter wondered why two white people accepted the award and not Kemp Powers, who wrote and co-directed the film.
Jon Batiste wins Best Original Score for Soul
Congratulations to Jon Batiste for winning an Oscar for Best Original for Disney-Pixar’s Soul. He was part of a trio of composers for the film. Batiste is only the second Black composer to win an Oscar in this category. Herbie Hancock won it for 1986’s “Round Midnight.”
Glenn Close puts her backfield in motion
In one of the final segments, Lil Rel Howery played a game. He walked around the room and quizzed the stars on whether songs were Oscar-nominated. Andra Day and Daniel Kaluuya played along. But it was Glenn Close who stole the show.
Not only did she know “Da Butt” was a song featured in School Daze, she also performed it.
Darnella Frazier gets mentioned
Marlee Matlin, in introducing the documentary awards, mentioned Darnella Frazier, the Black teenager who shot the cellphone video of George Floyd's death.
"Their impact can be extraordinary. Whether it's a full length feature film or a cell phone video taken by a young woman in Minneapolis by the name of Darnella Frazier that became a catalyst for change," Matlin said in sign language that was spoken by an interpreter.