Provided that “Happy” wins an Academy Award, Pharrell Williams might make (Black) history this weekend. On Sunday (March 2), Williams could become the sixth Black person to win a Best Original Song Oscar in the awards show’s 85-year history.
Like other coveted awards shows, the Oscars have been called out over a lack of diversity. Although winners of all races have taken home trophies, the annual ceremony continues to be dominated by mostly White nominees.
This year however is a little different. The range of Oscar-nominated films include some of the usual suspects (Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, and Meryl Streep) as well some lesser know acts. Predicted to win at least one trophy this go ’round is 12 Years A Slave, chronicling the life of Solomon Northup, a free man sold into slavery. Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is up for Best Actor for the lead role, Best Director could go to Steve McQueen, and current Hollywood it-girl Lupita Nyong’o may walk away with Best Supporting Actress. Of course voting shouldn’t be based on color versus merit, but the blackout in Hollywood isn’t something that can be ignored.
Black History Month is over, but here’s one more for the road. Check out 10 Black winners and nominees in the Best Original Song category.