A black woman sang the show open. Two black women co-hosted the show. A powerhouse, veteran actress in black films was nominated for an acting Oscar. Another black woman sang in gospel tribute during the ‘In Memoriam’ segment. Two black actresses escorted their double Oscar-winning and honorary Oscar winning husbands to the ceremony. Two black sisters, the greatest athletes in their field, were subjects of one of the most Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning films of the night. A black actress who won her first Oscar 8 years ago presented with the first black woman to win an Oscar for costume design 3 years ago.
And a black documentary not possible without most of the best women singers America has ever produced, who happen to be black women in Harlem history, won the Best Documentary Oscar with the renowned producer’s black mother as his date.
So how did the “history-making” part of this Oscars become about black men (just to be clear, I feel the Oscar winner let everybody there down)? How did all the black girl magic, talent and gorgeousness just get muted out for a dominant discussion about sad drama between any men?
We know how. We know why. We know the narrative(s). Black-on-black crime and violence are one of America’s favorite subjects, whether between racist Americans who love to point it out to justify ongoing terror against black people or the “Anti-Racists” who focus too hard on black American problems, ills and dangers over all our successes, excellence and virtues. We know this subject is what drowns out so much more that matters.
I’m choosing to remember my black sisters who pepped up the long-criticized stale show and it was noticeable. Black women can lead, we can follow and we can uplift others with unmatched grace and poise. As this current moment in American culture shows, we just may never ever get our overdue credit for it. So let’s reset and pull this back around to what the conversation would have been. Without women, in general and especially my sisters, this show wouldn’t be talked about much more than others in recent history.