Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium was overcome with melanin Sunday night (Jan. 27) when the cast of Marvel’s Black Panther took home the SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a cast in a Motion Picture, placing them in prime position to take home several gold statues at next month’s Academy Awards.
Chadwick Boseman spoke to a room full of actors on behalf of the cast and articulated the gravity of the moment. “I didn’t think I was going to have to speak. Thanks, SAG AFTRA for this moment of appreciation and celebration of this film. (We) thank our director, Ryan Coogler. Genius.”
He continues, “To be young, gifted and black…We know what it’s like to be told there’s not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. We know what it’s like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above. And that is what we went to work with every day because we knew — not that we would be around during award season or that it would make a billion dollars, but we knew we had something special that we wanted to give the world. That we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing, that we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see.”
Along with Black Panther, Mahershala Ali took earned the coveted green statue for his portrayal of Don Shirley in Green Book. Two years ago, Ali took home the same award for his role as Juan in the Barry Jenkins directed Moonlight.
As he accepted his award, Ali thanked his wife and daughter and showed gratitude to “be among this fraternity of artists who deal with the human condition and try to do that responsibly.”
The True Detective actor is nominated, again, for Best Supporting Actor at next month Oscars ceremony. The Oakland, Calif. native took home the award in the same category in 2017.