Regina King took home, as expected, the best supporting actress Oscar Sunday night for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk and dedicated her win to queer literary icon James Baldwin.
"To be standing here representing one of the greatest artists of our time, James Baldwin, is a little surreal," she said onstage, resplendent in white. "James Baldwin birthed this baby and Barry [Jenkins], you nurtured her, and surrounded her with so much love and support."
If Beale Street Could Talk is about a Harlem woman named Tish (Kiki Layne) trying to prove her fiance (Stephan James as Fonny) is innocent of a crime while carrying their first child. Written and directed by Jenkins, his first film since Moonlight won the top Oscar in 2017, it's the first English-language film adaptation of a Baldwin novel. King plays the mother of Tish opposite Colman Domingo.
"It's appropriate for me to be standing here because I'm an example of what it looks like when support and love is poured into someone," King said, gripping her first Oscar in a storied, almost 35-year career.
She continued, thanking her "sisters in art" who were in the category alongside her, King was deemed a frontrunner in the category opposite The Favourite's Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, Roma's Marina de Tavira, and Vice's Amy Adams early on. Leading up to the Academy Awards, King also took home the Golden Globe, the Critics Choice Award, and honors from the African American Film Critics Association among other critics groups.
Before leaving the stage, embraced by Maya Rudolph who along with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler presented the award, King had a message for her mother who was sitting front row in the audience.
"Mom, I love you so much," she said. "Thank you for teaching me that God always has been leaning in my direction... God is good. All the time."