Lee shares the award with co-writers Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Wilmott.
After accepting the Oscar from frequent collaborator, Samuel L. Jackson, Lee delivered an impassioned speech about the journey of African-Americans in the U.S. He noted that February is Black History Month and said it has only been a few generations since members of his own family were enslaved.
“From 1619 to 2019, 400 years, 400 years that our ancestors were stolen from mother Africa and brought to Jamestown, Virginia enslaved,” Lee said. “Our ancestors worked the land, can’t see the morning, can’t see at night.”
He then explained that his grandmother helped define who he is.
“My grandmother… who lived 100 years young, was a Spelman College graduate,