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David Oyelowo used his acceptance speech to recognize ‘transcendent women’


David Oyelowo walked away with the Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture title for his portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma. If you had any doubts about whether or not he deserved this award (he did), his acceptance speech probably blew you out of the water.

Oyelowo was up against Chadwick Boseman (Get On Up), Denzel Washington (The Equalizer), Idris Elba (No Good Deed) and Nate Parker (Beyond The Lights), all really great actors. And after taking the time to acknowledge the nominees, Oyelowo proceeded to do something that we rarely see in Hollywood: thank the women who were instrumental to his success.

This is what he said:

“I want to take this opportunity to talk about some transcendent women in my life; my mother, who prayed for this opportunity for me more than anyone else on this planet. Thank you, Mummy. My dear wife, who ran those lines with me, every day, who helped me with that first audition in 2007, who gave me four beautiful children. I love you forever, forever and ever.

“This film introduced me to some transcendent women in the civil rights movement: Annie Lee Cooper, Diane Nash, Amelia Boynton, Coretta Scott King. Thank you, thank you for what you have done for us. To some amazing, amazing women behind the camera: Ava DuVernay, my sister forever, I am so proud of you. God bless you. My American mother, Oprah Winfrey, for making sure I got to bed on time while we were shooting. Thank you, Mum O. Dede Gardner, our amazing, amazing producer out of Plan B, with Jeremy Kleiner as well, sat on this project for eight years.

“I just want to talk about female directors as well: Gina Prince-Bythewood, Amma Asante — we have to celebrate these women. Our film is about embracing the vote, utilizing the vote. Support these women, vote for them at the box office.”

And he calls his mother “Mummy.” Perfection.

Watch David Oyelowo’s speech on TV One’s website here:

David Oyelowo accepting an award at the NAACP Image Awards

Image credit: TV One

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