MEET MAHERSHALA ALI: THE FIRST BLACK MUSLIM ACTOR TO WIN AN OSCAR
By Susan Johnes
History was made in the just concluded Oscars 2017 when Mahershala Ali won an award. The 89th Academy Award which took place on Sunday night saw the Muslim take home an award as the best supporting actor.
The internet exploded with fans of the film reacting with weird tweets. “A black Muslim is accepting an Oscar for his supporting role in Moonlight,” a fan tweeted. His announcement at the acceptance speech that he was a Muslim left many wondering since he originates from Pakistan’s minority Muslim sector.
Over the past consecutive years, the Muslim race has never been considered for the award not until the 2017 Oscars where they garnered a significant category. The 2017 celebrations were a black man’s affair contrary to the previous years when the whites dominated the list of winners. It saw black people, including Muslims, clearly represented.
Ali, 43 years old is the freshest face seen in the Hollywood movies. The actor-rapper has since become most in demand in the film industry with his outstanding performances. The notable film that he has featured includes The Predator, Hunger Games series, and the House of Cards among others.
In Moonlight film released in 2016, the actor performed as a mentor and drug dealer. As a result, he has received several awards notably BAFTA Award, SAG Award, Golden Award, the Academy Award for the Best Supporting actor and the Critics’ Choice Award for the Best Supporting actor.
In an emotional speech, Ali recognized his wife’s effort in encouraging him when feeling depressed. It was a coincidence that she had just given birth some few days ago.
The actor further thanked his excellent teachers and professors who mentored him to becoming the person he is. Surprisingly, he shared with the audience the advice he received from the teachers and how they meant a lot to him.
Recently, President Trump announced banning the migration of Muslims in the US. The ban denies seven Muslim-majority countries access to the US soil. Not to mention, the actor’s origin traces from among the seven states brought to the public light.
However, Ali seemed not bothered with the issue since he proudly declared that he was a Muslim. His award win in the Oscar is a clear indication that race does not matter when it comes to talent. We are gifted differently. Therefore, it is upon you to utilize your hidden talent.