The Academy Awards mark the end of the traditional awards season, and this year’s gamut went out with a bang. Not only did the stars bring high-fashion escapism to the red carpet, but the ceremony marked a number of historic firsts. Especially powerful was Daniel Kaluuya’s win for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Judas and the Black Messiah, in which he portrayed Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton.
“To chairman Fred Hampton,” Kaluuya said when accepting the award. “How blessed we are that we live in a lifetime where he existed.” He continued by tributing the organization Hampton led by saying, “The Black Panther Party, they showed me how to love myself. And with that love, they overflowed it to the Black community and then to other communities. And they showed us the power of union, the power of unity.”
The Best Supporting Actor category was stacked this year, with Kaluuya’s co-star Lakeith Stanfield also receiving a nod. Yet Kaluuya’s victory was not entirely surprising. His fiery speeches delivered as Hampton, who was killed by police in 1969, fueled Judas and the Black Messiah, and he received a Golden Globe for the role earlier this year. After being nominated in 2017 for his performance in Get Out, Kaluuya received his first Oscar on Sunday (April 25).
In addition to beating out Stanfield, Kaluuya's won over Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Paul Raci (Sound of Metal), and Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami). Speaking about Hampton's legacy, Kaluuya added, “There’s so much work to do, guys, and that’s on everyone in this room.”
Judas and the Black Messiah received six nods at the 93rd Academy Awards, including the two in the best supporting actor category. It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Song, and Best Cinematography.
Find all the 2021 Oscar winners right here.