(Not) Chasing Oscar Gold


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By MSNBC and Trymaine Lee. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This past weekend’s Oscars ceremony was one for the history books. There was, of course, the smack seen around the world. But beyond the most salacious headline of the night one fact stood out: this was the Blackest Oscars ceremony the world has ever seen.

Two of the night’s three hosts – comedian Wanda Sykes and actress Regina Hall – were Black women. All the young people handing the winners their trophies were HBCU students. And for the first time in its history, the show was produced by an all-Black producing team, led by FAMU alum Will Packer.

But the Oscars have a troubled history with race. In 1940 Hattie McDaniel became the first Black person to win an Oscar, for her portrayal of Mammy in Gone with the Wind. After a tearful acceptance speech, she returned to her seat at the edge of the auditorium where the ceremony was held, segregated from her white peers. It would be nearly a quarter century before another Black actor won an Oscar, when Sidney Poitier took home the prize for Best Actor in 1964. With last weekend’s awards included, a total of 22 Oscars have gone to Black actors during the Academy’s 94-year history.

But do we really need an organization like the Academy to tell us how great we are?

The entertainment industry is full of Black creatives making their own way, producing the stories that they want to tell, on their own terms. This week on Into America, host Trymaine Lee speaks to one of them, filmmaker Stefon Bristol, the man behind See You Yesterday about what it takes to make it in Hollywood while staying true to yourself.

For a transcript, please visit msnbc.com/intoamerica.

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Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com.

Further Listening:

Editor's Note: in an earlier version of this episode an editing error changed the meaning of one part of the interview. Stefon Bristol's short film of See You Yesterday was accepted, and was a finalist at the 2017 American Black Film Festival.

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