Congratulations are in order for Regina King as she just won her first Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 91st annual Academy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 24.)
The 48-year-old actress took on the role of Sharon Rivers for Barry Jenkins’ 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk. Upon winning the award, an emotional King took to the podium and thanked the Moonlight director and her mother who taught her the importance of keeping God first.
“To be standing here representing one of the greatest artists of our time, James Baldwin, is a little surreal,” she started. “James Baldwin birthed this baby and Barry you nurtured her. You surrounded her with so much love and support.”
King acknowledged her mother who is also her guest and thanked her for raising her to keep the Lord first. “Thank you for teaching me that God is always leaning, always has been leaning in my direction,” she shared tearfully.
Adapted by Jenkins from Baldwin’s 1974 novel, If Beale Street Could Talk also stars Stephan James and KiKi Layne, who play Fonny and Tish, two black youths in love in Harlem, New York. If Beale Street Could Talk also took home a trophy for the Best Picture category at the 2019 Spirit Awards on Saturday night (Feb. 23).
King is the 8th black woman to win the Oscar for Best Actress In A Supporting Role; Hattie McDaniel, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Hudson, Mo’Nique, Octavia Spencer, Lupita Nyong’o and Viola Davis.
Watch King’s acceptance speech down below.
Regina King praised James Baldwin, director Barry Jenkins, and her family in the first #Oscars acceptance speech of the night.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 25, 2019