Ma Rainey's Black Bottom makes history with its Oscar win—and proves once again that Oscars diversity is overdue

All thanks to Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
(Image credit: David Lee / Netflix)

The glass ceiling is starting to shatter. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom won the Oscar for the best makeup and hairstyling, and its recipients Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson, are the first black women to receive the honor. 

Before noting their experience on the film, the two began their speech by expressing gratitude for those who paved the way. "I want to thank our ancestors who put the work in," Mia said. 

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As we've heard a lot this year, they might be the first, but they will not be the last. 

"I can picture Black trans women standing up here. And Asian sisters. And our Latina sisters. And indigenous women," Mia continued. "And I know that one day it won't be unusual or groundbreaking. It will just be normal."

According to NPR, Mia created 100 wigs for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom—one of which came from imported horse hair from England that arrived with manure and lice eggs. The movie follows a jazz musician from the 1920s and the problems that arise when her band reunites. You can watch it on Netflix. (Psst: Here's where to stream all Oscar-nominated films.) 

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Keeping up with the diversity trend is Nomland's win: the film's director, Chloé Zhao, is the second woman in Oscars history to take home the award for best director and the first woman of color to do so. 

"This is for anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold on to the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult it is to do that. And this is for you, you inspire me to keep going," the director said during her acceptance speech. (You can watch Nomanland on Hulu.)

It looks like the 93rd Academy Awards will be responsible for a lot of historic Oscars moments, and we're delighted to see the inclusion and diversity.

Danielle Valente
Danielle Valente

Danielle is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. When she's not working, you can find her experimenting with new recipes or sitting on the couch with a good book and a cup of coffee.