'BlacKkKlansman' director Spike Lee delivers powerful Oscar acceptance speech
The Oscars 2019 has wrapped up and this year has been big on surprises with Green Book beating the clear favorite Roma to win the Best Picture award. However, in a twist-filled ceremony, Spike Lee exuded all kinds of cool when he got up on stage to deliver his acceptance speech after his film BlacKkKlansman won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Read on.
Lee won his first competitive Oscar for adapting BlacKkKlansman, a 2014 memoir of Ron Stallworth. The memoir detailed his experiences of infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan, the outfit which violently committed race crimes in America at one point. Lee shared the film's writing honors with Kevin Willmott, Charlie Wachtel, and David Rabinowitz. The winner was declared by Samuel L. Jackson, who Lee excitedly greeted.
Once Lee took the stage, he wasted no time in getting political. Kicking off the speech, he warned, "Do not turn that motherf***ing clock on!" The director then started by giving a lesson in black history, how it was intrinsically tied to slavery. He went on to cite personal examples of how black people had advanced despite slavery and how they helped build America.
Lee paid homage to his grandmother in his speech. He also stated, "Before the world tonight, I give praise to our ancestors who helped build this country into what it was today along with the genocide of its native people. If we all connect with our ancestors, we will have love and wisdom. We will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment".
Lee did not take long before he turned to modern day politics. Speaking of the upcoming election in 2020, he said, "Let us all mobilize. Let us all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate". He ended his speech coolly, quoting the title of his own acclaimed film, telling people "Let's do the right thing".
Lee has always been a political director both in terms of his content and the kind of message he puts out in public. He used his art in BlacKkKlansman to critically explore issues like the rise of right-wing nationalism and subsequent racism in America. Undoubtedly, Lee's acceptance speech at Oscars 2019 proves that a political stand is better than an apathetic and apolitical stance.