Last year I wrote this short piece in italics below:
Next Year at the Oscars A Black Night, Please
Next year at the Oscars, what I would really like to see over all else is a night that honors Black films, Black actresses, Black actors, Black directors, Black producers, Black musical scores; both the past, the present and the futuristic.
Can we have the stage next year that speaks to our value as a matter of course in American society?
Just one Oscar night that is not too blond, too white; just one Oscar night for me too without the hashtag.
Well, lo and behold, a year later and the Oscars are upon us. Could it be that the Oscars heard my plead? It appears that they did. Just kidding. According to Medium stats, only seven people viewed and read this piece.
Nevertheless, this year there are more Black-centric films under consideration with Black directors and performed by Black actresses and actors that have ever been nominated by the Academy.
In the best picture category, there is the Green Book, Black Panther, and BlacKkKlansman. My pick for this year’s award is Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman.
It is past time for the Academy to honor the work Lee has brought to the big screen. From School Days, She’s Gotta Have It, Jungle Fever, Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Get on the Bus, to BlacKkKlansman, Lee’s films have been on the pulse of contemporary Black life in America; and by default, the pulse of white America.
In the best-supporting-actress category, Regina King has been nominated for her work in James Baldwin’s epic novel, If Beale Street Could Talk.
Mahershala Ali in the Green Book is nominated for an actor in a supporting role. While Adam Driver brings additional attention to Lee’s BlacKkKlansman with his nomination in the supporting role category. Driver portrays a white detective who meets with the Klan after the character played by John David Washington has set up the meeting.
Spike Lee is nominated for directing. This night could be a big Spike Lee night.
As an Adapted Screen Play, both BlacKkKlansman and If Beale Street Could Talk are on the list; and in the Original Score category: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman and If Beale Street Could Talk.
This could be a not so white Oscars, which in the grand scheme of things will be a big thing.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Medium, and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at email@example.com