Chadwick Boseman delivered a powerful speech about what it means to be “young, gifted and Black.”
By Cole Delbyck, Huffington Post
“Black Panther” made awards show history Sunday night.
The cast of the record-breaking Marvel blockbuster picked up the top trophy at the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
The Ryan Coogler-directed film, which also nabbed an award earlier in the night for stuntwork, is the first superhero film to be nominated and win the honor, beating out “A Star Is Born,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Crazy Rich Asians.”
Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke and more were on hand to accept the award, launching out of their seats when presenter Jodie Foster announced the winner.
Boseman was the sole cast member to take the mic and delivered a moving speech reflecting on the film’s cultural impact nearly a year after its initial release. The actor offered a passionate response to the most-asked questions cast members received while promoting the film.
“One [question] is, ‘Did we know that this movie was going to receive this kind of response,’” Boseman explained. “The second question is, ‘Has it changed the industry? Has it actually changed the way this industry works and how it sees us?’”
“My answer to that is to be young, gifted and Black,” he added, referencing the classic Nina Simone song of the same name.
“To be young, gifted and Black ― we all know what it’s like to be told there is not a place for you to be featured, yet you are young, gifted and Black,” he said.
Boseman continued, “We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above. That is what we went to work with every day because we knew … that we had something special that we wanted to give the world. That we could be full humans beings in the roles that we were playing. That we could create a world that exemplified a world we wanted to see. We knew that we had something that we wanted to give.”
The monumental win paves the way for “Black Panther” to make Oscars history at the awards show next month, where it’s nominated for Best Picture.
This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post.