Angela Bassett Wins Honorary Oscar

Delivers awe-inspiring and moving acceptance speech.

Angela Bassett accepted the award at the Academy’s 14th Governors Awards on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, in Los Angeles.

“I thought long and hard about what I’d say this evening. This, for me, is not just another award. It’s a testament to my legacy. This trophy represents my contributions to this medium of film, all that I’ve given of my mind, body and spirit as an actress who is a Black woman. So, do I go the route of saying a few words of gratitude for what this moment means to me? Or do I give voice to what I hope this moment should mean for generations of Black actresses to come?

“As I look to future, I think that it would be of service to face that which we all must contend as we look toward tomorrow and beyond. We are days away from Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. And something he once said touched my spirit in thinking about what I would say this evening: ‘we are not makers of history. We are made by history.’”

The “Black Panther” star listed many of the Black actresses throughout Hollywood history: Jennifer Hudson, Mo’nique, Octavia Spencer, Lupita Nyong’o, Viola Davis, Regina King, and Arianna Debose.

Basset blessed our future generations, saying, “I call their names to acknowledge every one of them this evening for being beacons of possibility and hope for little Black and brown girls who aspire to one day pursue the dream of becoming an actor.”

She left us with these words: “My prayer is that we leave this industry more enriched, forward-thinking and inclusive than we found it. A future where there won’t be a first or an only or suspense around whether history will be made with a nomination or a win. I have faith that one day, some day, the celebration and recognition will be solely on the performance and the performer. Because at the end of the day, we all just want to have the opportunity to do great, meaningful work.”

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