Daniel Kaluuya has added another award to his career accolades. On Sunday night (April 25), the British actor took home his very first Academy Award for his role as the Black Panther leader, Fred Hampton, in the award-winning film, Judas and the Black Messiah.
After being thanked for being “the reminder that you can’t murder freedom” in his Oscar nominee introduction, an elated and inspired Kaluuya delivered his acceptance speech and used the moment to uplift the slain revolutionary for his contributions to the Black community.
“What a man, what a man. How blessed we are they we lived in a lifetime that he existed,” he said. “Thank you for your light. He was on this earth for 21 years, 21 years and he found a way to feed kids breakfast, educate kids, give free medical care, against all the odds. He showed me, he taught me. Him, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, the Black Panther Party, they showed me how to love myself. And with that love, they overflowed it to the Black community and to other communities. And they showed us the power of union, the power of unity. That when they played divide and conquer, we say unite and ascend. Thank you so much for showing me myself.”
He continued by addressing the audience about the importance of everyone doing their part in the fight to make the world a more equal and just place. “There’s so much work to do, guys, and that’s on everyone in this room, this ain’t no single man job. And I look to every single one of you, you’ve got work to do. And I’m gonna get back to work Tuesday morning because tonight I’m going up. We’re going up. Gonna enjoy myself tonight.”
As his mother and sister proudly celebrated his win from the audience, Kaluuya thanked his mom “for pouring into” him, giving him his “factory settings,” and bringing him into this world. A moment that brought laughter to the audience and viewers.
“Like it’s incredible. My mom met my dad, they had sex. It’s amazing, you know what I’m saying, I’m here!” he said with a half-serious, yet candid demeanor. “I’m so happy to be alive, so we’re going to celebrate that tonight. I appreciate every single person in the room, I appreciate everyone watching at home. Love. Peace, love, and onwards.”
Watch Kaluuya’s speech where he shared the award with his co-stars, fellow Best Actor nominee “the gift that is LaKeith Stanfield” and “the light that is Dominique Fishback.”