The news that nine actors of color earned Academy Award nominations on Monday, setting an Oscar record for diversity in those categories, has one single mother-of-four jumping with joy.
Hardworking Sylvia Jackson, 35, of Cypress Hills, Illinois, says that it is news like this that really makes a difference in her life.
"My husband left me a few years back, and, since then, I have been struggling to raise my four kids. We live in a poor area of town, due to my financial situation, and as I left school early to have kids, I find getting decently paid jobs tough. I work three jobs, take the bus, and really, with no hope of bettering myself, or, for that matter, my kids, it makes me so glad that privileged colored actors, who live a life of luxury, earn millions, wear fancy clothes and drive around in expensive cars now have a better-than-average chance of winning a meaningless award. It really will change things for me."
Sylvia's words were echoed by unemployed veteran Carl Hagler.
"Along with Chadwick Boseman, this is also the first time in Oscar history that the 'Best Actor' category is not majority white. The rest of this year’s diverse slate includes 'Best Actress' nominees Viola Davis and Andra Day; and best-supporting actor nominees Daniel Kaluuya, Leslie Odom Jr., and LaKeith Stanfield," said Carl, as he struggled for quarters while preparing his laundry.
"This is just amazing. I mean, finally, at long last. I am so happy for them, I mean us. Yeah. This is going to make my life better, I'm sure. Will fix the broken system. Start at the top I guess. Let's help the rich blacks first. You know, what with that poor Meghan Markle, all up there in her big mansion with her million-dollar jewels, you know, suffering like, a victim of racism. I'm just glad she is cashing-in. Makes me think that, maybe, someone will help us out. Maybe, someone like Oprah, with all her millions. What do you think? Maybe some of these athletes going down on a knee might, you know, once they battled their horrific issues and problems in their big houses, will sponsor some kids here in this neighborhood. Maybe help out. I mean, we are so happy for them and all."
"The fact that it took until 2021 for the Academy Awards to recognize a widely-heterogeneous array of rich and privileged African nominees, also speaks directly to the deeply-entrenched prejudices that have kept people of color outside of the Oscars — and the film industry at large — for so long, means things are gonna change in the hood for us all," said Claude Walker, as he waited for the bus to take him from his community college, where he is studying auto-mechanics, to his part-time job at Macdonalds.