Last year, Spike Lee and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith boycotted the Academy Awards presentation after no African American was nominated in any of the major categories.
Tonight's Golden Globe Awards offered a sharp contrast, with the community taking home several statues.
Writer-director Barry Jenkins's story of a gay African American man from Florida, Moonlight, won for best motion picture—drama, widely seen as the most prestigious prize of the night. When the winner was announced, the critically acclaimed film elicited a standing ovation from Hollywood royalty in the audience.
"Jenkins lets the scenes play out with organic ease, and cinematographer James Laxton physicalizes the locations with a kind of off-kilter poetry," wrote Georgia Straight reviewer Ken Eisner in November. "Stereotypes are pushed aside here as men make their own ways through the minefield of masculinity in battleground America."
Jenkins was nominated but did not win as best director or best screenplay, however. Those awards went to Damien Chazelle, who helmed La La Land.
Tracee Ellis Ross won best performance by an actress in a TV series—musical or comedy for her role as Dr. Rainbow Johnson in Black-ish.
"This is for the women of colour whose stories aren't always seen, but we see you," Ross said.
Atlanta won the Golden Globe for best TV musical or comedy series, with star and series creator Donald Glover thanking Atlanta and all the black folks. He added a thanks to hip-hop trio Migos as well. Later in the evening, Glover also won the Golden Globe best actor for a TV series—musical or comedy.
Another African American winner of a Golden Globe was Viola Davis. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association honoured her for best actress in a supporting role in a motion picture for playing Rose Maxson, wife of baseball player Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington), in Fences.
Davis also introduced the Cecil B. DeMille Award winner, Meryl Streep.
Two-time Golden Globe winner Washington was nominated for best performance by an actor in a motion picture drama, which went to Casey Affleck for his role in Manchester By The Sea. Affleck ended his speech by referring to one of Washington's speeches in a previous win.
Washington has seven Golden Globe nominations for best performance by an actor in this category, which is the most of anyone of African ancestry.
Whoopi Goldberg is the only African American woman to win a Golden Globe best performance by an actress in a motion picture drama. It came in 1986 for The Color Purple.
The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Cime Story, which included many African American actors, won the best limited television series or motion picture made for television. African Americans Courtney B. Vance and Sterling K. Brown were nominated for best actor and best supporting actor in this category, respectively, for playing Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran and prosecutor Christopher Darden. The awards in these categories went to The Night Manager's Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie, respectively.
Other Golden Globe nominees of African ancestry were actors Ruth Negga (Loving), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Thandie Newton (Westworld), Anthony Anderson (Black-ish), Issa Rae (Insecure), and Kerry Washington (Confirmation), and musician Benjamin Williams (original score for Hidden Figures).