COMING CLEAN: Inspiration: Great Oscar Speeches

Giving a good speech is a tricky thing.

Updated March 4, 5:57 p.m. CST. I was told to watch Lupita Nyong’o’s speech for Best Supporting Actress and had to include her on this list. See video below.

In seventh grade, I gave a speech on diversity to my classmates. It focused on my multiracial family, and I brought pictures to help explain my family tree and discuss how we’ve handled negative reactions from strangers. It was a modest lecture given my age, but my classmates were gracious and seemingly intrigued.

I couldn’t imagine giving a speech to a large audience, let alone on live television to a worldwide network (oh, and it’ll be recorded and shared online for all to see always). So of course I was in awe of the acceptance speeches at tonight’s Oscars.

My two favorites were Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor in Dallas Buyers Club, who thanked God, his late father, his mother, his wife and children, and talked about the person he’s always chasing: “Me in 10 years!” We’re all striving to be our best selves, and McConaughey’s evolution from Dazed and Confused and the star of many a rom-com to today’s impressive roles in DBC and True Detective (HBO) have earned him the Twitter hashtag #McConaissance.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deNAilnDY4I]

And I couldn’t help but love the sweet speech from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who won Best Original Song for “Let It Go” for Frozen. They rhymed and sang, but then ended with the song’s dedication to their daughters: “Katie and Annie: This song is inspired by our love for you and the hope that you never let fear or shame keep you from celebrating the unique people that you are.” Lovely, and such a great message.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Zv_La78vHw]

We didn’t catch all of 3-hour-some broadcast.

What were your favorite moments?

Updated March 3, 5:57 p.m. CST, Lupita Nyong’o: “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

Also, a must-see from Lupita’s acceptance speech for Best Breakthrough Performance at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon hosted by Essence magazine, in which she shares part of a letter from a little girl about learning to see herself as beautiful no matter her skin color. Lupita’s wisdom: “What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPCkfARH2eE]

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