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Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:31 PM

Lupita Nyong'o Delivers Moving 'Black Women in Hollywood' Acceptance Speech

http://www.essence.com/2014/02/27/lupita-nyongo-delivers-moving-black-women-Hollywood-acceptance-speech

Lupita Nyong'o was awarded for her breakthrough performance in 12 Years a Slave by The Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, and in her wonderful acceptance speech she explains so perfectly why it matters to have women and minorities, and minority women, on our screens, and why it matters how they are portrayed.

I wrote down this speech that I had no time to practice so this will be the practicing session. Thank you Alfre, for such an amazing, amazing introduction and celebration of my work. And thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of such an extraordinary community. I am surrounded by people who have inspired me, women in particular whose presence on screen made me feel a little more seen and heard and understood. That it is ESSENCE that holds this event celebrating our professional gains of the year is significant, a beauty magazine that recognizes the beauty that we not just possess but also produce.


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And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then…Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me the preference for my skin prevailed, to the courters that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.


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And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.

There is no shame in Black beauty.

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Reply Lupita Nyong'o Delivers Moving 'Black Women in Hollywood' Acceptance Speech (Original post)
KitSileya Feb 2014 OP
DURHAM D Feb 2014 #1
KitSileya Feb 2014 #3
ismnotwasm Feb 2014 #2
KitSileya Feb 2014 #4
sufrommich Feb 2014 #5

Response to KitSileya (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:37 PM

1. Beautiful.

Thanks for posting.

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:51 PM

3. I got the link on Tumblr

I follow Trudy at the Gradient Lair, who posts really incisive posts on womanism, and how white woman feminism needs to become more intersectional, as well as gorgeous pictures of beautiful black women and fashion for all sizes. She has a great voice for really deconstructing the bu!!sh!t she sees in our culture, and I really recommend her blog to everyone who wants to learn about making feminism inclusive and intersectional.

But yes, the speech is beautiful, as is Lupita Nyong'o. I hope she gets a long and varied career doing what she loves the most.

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Response to KitSileya (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:42 PM

2. As we move through history

More and more black women are finding their voices-- and that their voice are powerful.
That their voices will change the world.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:55 PM

4. Indeed, that is the way we are going.

I love to listen to the voices of women who are different than me - I live such a privileged life, being a white woman in one of the most equal countries in the world. (And by equal, I don't just mean between the sexes, but class too.) One of the biggest problems Norway has, though, is it's homogeneous population, and the fact that people of color are a relatively recent minority group in Norwegian culture. So, I try to listen. And since I also spend parts of the year in the US, I want to follow American voices too, and Lupita Nyong'o has a very powerful voice, as we can see from her speech. It was a treat to be able to share it -I was so sure it would have been posted by you already!

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Response to KitSileya (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:55 PM

5. That was awesome. k&r

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