Our ancestors paved way for this moment and now #BlackExcellence is getting the recognition it deserves!
Way back in 1981, the category came into existence after the Academy received complaints that the makeup work in The Elephant Man (1980) was not going to be honored, and now, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson who made history by becoming the first black women to be nominated in the category in March officially claimed the title at the 2021 Oscars which held on Sunday April 26th: Becoming the first Black women to ever win a hair and makeup Academy Award.
The winning duo won for their work in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom- Mia Neal worked as hair department head and Jamika Wilson, Viola Davis’ personal hairstylist.
“I want to say thank you to our ancestors who put the work in, [and] were denied but never gave up,” Neal said in her acceptance speech. “I also stand here, as Jamika and I break this glass ceiling with so much excitement for the future, because I can picture Black trans women standing up here. And Asian sisters. And our Latina sisters. And indigenous women. And I know that one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking. It will just be normal.”
She continued, “Thank you to the Academy, to Netflix, to Denzel Washington, to George C. Wolfe, to Ann Roth, to Ms. Viola Davis.”
They beat out Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli and Francesco Pegoretti for “Pinocchio”; “Emma’s” Marese Langan, Laura Allen and Claudia Stolze; Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams and Colleen LaBaff for “Mank”; and “Hillbilly Elegy’s” Eryn Krueger Mekash, Patricia Dehaney and Matthew Mungle.
Well Done Queens!