Mahershala Ali Makes History & Viola Davis Wins

Mahershala Ali is the first Muslim to win an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role in ‘Moonlight’ and Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘Fences.’ (Photo: Google)

Mahershala Ali made Oscar history last night with his Best Supporting Actor win for his performance in the critically-acclaimed film Moonlight. Ali became the first Muslim to win the honor in the 89-year history of the Academy.

Beloved actress Viola Davis won her first Oscar as Best Actress for her performance in Fences, giving an outstanding acceptance speech.

Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight won best film, which was announced after a stunning mixup in which La La Land was accidentally read as the winner. Jenkins also won for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay.

Upsets include Denzel Washington’s loss in the Best Actor category for Fences, which went to Casey Affleck for his performance in Manchester by the Sea.  Ava Duvernay and Raoul Peck lost the Best Documentary award for 13th and I Am Not Your Negro to O.J.: Made in America. 

For a full list of winners, visit

This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news blog The Burton Wire. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.

Follow The Burton Wire on Instagram or Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

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