Cord Jefferson, Da’Vine Joy, Kris Bowers, Academy Awards

Da’Vine Joy, Cord Jefferson, And Kris Bowers Were The Three Black Winners At The Academy Awards

The 96th annual awards event turned Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Cord Jefferson, and Kris Bowers into winners.

The 96th annual Academy Awards took place on Sunday night, turning Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Cord Jefferson, and Kris Bowers into winners.

Randolph took home an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Holdovers, beating out Danielle Brooks’ performance in The Color Purple musical, AP reports. Bowers won the Documentary Short Film category for The Last Repair Shop, while Jefferson won Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) for American Fiction.

The Best Supporting Actress win was big for Black viewers as they watched Randolph and Brooks battle it out in a major category against Emily Blunt for Oppenheimer, America Ferrera in Barbie, and Jodie Foster for Nyad. Da’Vine Joy was emotional while accepting her first-ever Academy Award and speaking into existence her chance to secure another in the future.

“I always wanted to be different. Now I realize I just need to be myself,” Randolph said before shouting out the women who helped her throughout her career. “I pray to God. I get to do this more than once.”

Randolph’s role as Mary Lamb in Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers saw her portray a New England boarding school cafeteria manager dealing with grief and loss. Her Academy Award concludes her awards season sweep, with additional statues from the Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Golden Globes.

Bowers won for his short documentary highlighting the Los Angeles craftspeople who work diligently to keep 80,000 musical instruments in working order for the city’s public school students.

The Last Repair Shop is about the heroes in our schools who often go unsung, unthanked, and unseen,” Bowers said. “Tonight, you are sung, you are thanked, and you are seen.”

Deadline reports that Bowers’ experience growing up attending L.A. Unified School District schools, where he developed his talent on pianos, gave him firsthand knowledge on the topic. Bowers is a gifted Hollywood composer whose work has appeared in Ava DuVernay’s Origin, Green Book, Bob Marley: One Love, and The Color Purple.

Jefferson, who made his big-screen directorial debut, was bold during his Oscars acceptance speech, addressing any “risk-averse” film executives who might be reluctant to take a chance on more diverse screenplays and new directors.

“I’ve been talking a lot about how many people passed on this movie, and I worry that sometimes sounds vindictive,” he said. “It’s more a plea to acknowledge and recognize that there are so many people out there who want the opportunity that I was given.”

“I understand that this is a risk-averse industry; I get it,” he continued. “But $200 million movies are also a risk. And it doesn’t always work out, but you take the risk anyway. Instead of making one $200 million movie, try making 20 $10 million movies. Or 50 $4 million movies.”

Sterling K. Brown, Jeffrey Wright, and Colman Domingo were also nominated but didn’t stand a chance against Oppenheimer, which won big on Sunday, collecting statues for Best Supporting Actor, which went to Robert Downey Jr., and Cillian Murphy, who beat out Wright and Domingo for Best Actor. Oppenheimer won 13 Academy Awards in total, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography.

See the full list of winners HERE.

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