Lupita Nyong’o's Acceptance Speech At 2014 Oscars: 'Your Dreams Are Valid'

Lupita Nyong'o
Actress Lupita Nyong'o at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, Jan. 18, 2014 Reuters

“Yes!” Lupita Nyong’o said when she won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 86th Academy Awards for her role in “12 Years a Slave.” The Kenyan actress, who was born in Mexico, was definitely elated when she received the Oscar.

Nyong’o was up against some stiff competition: Jennifer Lawrence for “American Hustle,” Julia Roberts for “August; Osage County,” Sally Hawkins for “Blue Jasmin” and June Squibb for “Nebraska.” It should be noted that J-Law won the Golden Globe for best supporting actress this year and Nyong’o won a Screen Actor’s Guild Award -- so it was pretty much a toss up when the nominees were read Sunday night.

Needless to say, the “12 Years a Slave” winner looked stunned on her way to receive her Oscar. Nyong'o then delivered a beautiful, moving speech.

“It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is due to so much pain in someone else’s,” Nyong’o said as she referenced Patsey, the slave she portrays in the acclaimed slavery drama, which was reportedly based on a real-life memoir.

Like winners typically do, Nyong’o went on to thank her cast mates, drama school and the Academy, yet she also made sure to thank the film’s director, Steve McQueen, directly. Nyong’o said that if the people who are dead are watching, then “they are grateful” McQueen was able to bring history back to life.

Nyong’o didn’t stop there. She also addressed everyone with a dream that they believe might be unattainable: “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

Check out her full speech here, courtesy of Time.

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