2018 • Adapted Screenplay • Onstage

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91st Oscars Transcript: Adapted Screenplay

SPEECH BY: Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
FILM: “BlacKkKlansman”

SPIKE LEE:

Alright. Alright. I want to thank Tonya, Jack and Satchel. The word today is irony. The date the 24th. The month February, which also happens to be the shortest month of the year, which also happens to be Black History Month. The year 2019, the year 1619. History, Herstory. 1619 to 2019, 400 years. 400 years our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and brought to Jamestown, Virginia, enslaved. Our ancestors worked the land from can’t see in the morning to can’t see at night. My grandmother, Zimmie Shelton Reatha, who lived to be 100 years young, who was a Spelman College graduate even though her mother was a slave. My grandma who saved 50 years of Social Security checks to put her first grandchild – she called me Spikie Poo – she put me through Morehouse College and NYU Grad Film. NYU!

Before the world tonight, I give praise for our ancestors who helped build this country and [unintelligible] today along with the genocide of its native people. If we all connect with our ancestors, we will have love, wisdom, we will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there!

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