Although the 91st Academy Awards is being commended for breaking a lot of new records, the most prominent one is the highest number of black artists winning an award. This record is also being celebrated on twitter with #Oscarssoblack.

Oscars 2019 saw as many as six black artist winners. The last highest record was in 2017 when four black artists won an Oscar.

The Costume Design Category was first created in 1949. Ruth Carter is the first black person to win an award for this category for her work in ‘Black Panther’ and also happens to be the second black person to be nominated for this category. Additionally Hannah Beachler became the first black person to win an Oscar for Best Production Design for her work in ‘Black Panther’ as well. Notably, ‘Black Panther’ is the first film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe also referred to as Marvel Studios to win an Oscar. it is also the first ever superhero film to win an oscar.

Peter Ramsey became the first black director to be nominated as well as win an Oscar for  “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” which he co-directed with  with Bob Persichetti and Rodney Rothman. Mahershala Ali became the second black actor to win multiple Oscars for acting, Denzel Washington being the first.

Another record was made by ‘Roma’ which happens to be the first Mexican film to win an Oscar. The film is a semi-autobiography of the director Alfonso Cuaron’s upbringing in Mexico. Speaking of foreign wins, Rami Malek is the first arab-american as well as Egyptian-american actor to win an Oscar for his role as Freddie Mercury in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ under the Best Actor category.  He mentioned this while giving his parents a shout-out in his Oscar speech.

The song ‘Shallow’ from the film ‘A star is born’ won the oscar for Original Song. It was also performed at the ceremony by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga and regarded as one of the best performances of the evening.

Indian Director Rayka Zehtabch won an oscar in the Documentary category for her film ‘Period. End of a sentence’. “We can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar… I’m not crying because I’m on my period, or anything. I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!”she said while receiving the award. Spike Lee won his first oscar in the Adapted Screenplay category for ‘BlacKkKlansman’.

The Academy board has claimed that having no host this year substantially cut down on the timings of the ceremony. This was also well received by the general public who took to twitter with #nohostoscars


Although these wins were celebrated by most, there was some opposition directed towards the films.

‘The Green Book’ is a film about a black pianist Dr. Shirley and his positive relationship with his white chauffeur. People felt that the show of racial harmony in the film was just a disguise for the white people to pat themselves on the back. The negative reviews were boosted by the actual Dr. Shirley’s family boycotting the film, claiming it was a false representation.


Sources: Time Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine,  IndieWire

Compiled by: Soheib Ahsan