America’s New Sweetheart: The Importance of Lupita Nyong’o


Last night we once again witnessed history being made.  Lupita Nyong’o took home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as ‘Patsey’ in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave.”  

86th Annual Academy Awards - Red Carpet

The film received rave reviews and intense notoriety in every facet.  Direction, production, acting, plot, 12 Years a Slave was being garnered for it all.  And out of this film rose a shining black star, Lupita Nyong’o.  She has become America’s sweetheart overnight and they couldn’t have picked a better one.

But it’s deeper than the rise of a beautiful Mexican born Kenyan actress. America is getting darker.

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Lupita was born in Mexico to two Kenyan parents of the Luo tribe. She and her family went back to Kenya when she was only one. There she attended school until the age of 16 where she went back to Mexico for 7 months. Her father is a professor at University of Nairobi and her mother is the director of a cancer facility and runs her own communications company. A family of achievements.  She is the second of 6 children with a family heavily versed in the arts.  Cinderella has come alive.


But why is this new swan in Swan Lake so important?  Great question.  VH1 recently aired a 4 part documentary called “The Tanning of America” where they explain how hip hop culture has influenced American culture and made our ethnicity more widespread and acceptable.

It’s been hard to be a black person in America for the most part. Our image on prime time television is laughable and any case brought against us in the court of law seems to go the way of the other party (race) involved. It is hard to look at our image and be proud of it. But Lupita is that beacon of self love that our community ever so needs.

Oscars 2014: Signature styles worn by Pharrell and Nyong’o rock red carpet

She is important because she is that symbol a lot of black people needed.  She is a purveyor of the philosophy of loving yourself no matter what.  Little black girls everywhere that have been down trodden by #TeamLightSkin debates can now look at Lupita as a worthy idol.  She is a shining example. Fashionable, confident and talented Lupita embodies the American Dream.  White America has shown such a fascination with her.  It’s hard for them to believe someone so vibrant, driven and elegant could have come from the Motherland.

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But we won’t let her turn into America’s Hottentot Venus. We won’t allow any one to slander Ms. Nyong’o.  She is a symbol and icon for Black Importance, Of Black Love, Of Black Identity.  America’s new sweetheart is BLACK. And she dresses better than any one on the front of a recent tabloid. DEAL WITH IT!!

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals