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Lupita Nyong'o wins Oscar for '12 Years a Slave,' makes Kenyan history

Who's the man? Better yet, "Who's the woman?" Lupita Nyong'o can add another huge award to her shelf for "12 Years a Slave." She was announced as the winner for the Supporting Actress category during the 2014 Oscars awards show that aired on Sun., March 2.

Actress Lupita Nyong'o attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, Calif.
Actress Lupita Nyong'o attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, Calif.Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

But before she went into the usual thanking of family and friends, she thanked the woman behind the movie.

"It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's," Nyong'o said onstage while holding the award. "And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey."

Nyong'o played the role of the real-life character Patsey in the 1853 autobiography "Twelve Years a Slave" written by Solomon Northup. According to HistoryvsHollywood.com, the brutal beating in the movie did indeed happen and it was "not uncommon for Mistress Epps to hurl a broken bottle or billet of wood at Patsey's face."

After thanking several cast members, family and friends, she finished her speech by saying, "When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you're from, your dreams are valid."

Nyong'o is the 15th black actress ever to win an Oscar outside of music and documentaries. She is the seventh black woman to win the award, joining the list with Hattie McDaniel, Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, Mo'Nique and Octavia Spencer. Her family is from Kenya, but she was born in Mexico City, Mexico.

The graduate from Yale University School of Drama's Acting program had only been in two other roles before "12 Years a Slave": the character Ayira in the 2009-2012's TV miniseries "Shuga" and F in 2008's "East River."

"12 Years a Slave" also won for Best Picture.

"20 Feet from Stardom" won for Best Documentary Feature, starring the fourth season "The Voice" contestant Judith Hill and background singers Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love from The Blossoms, Tata Vega and Claudia "Brown Sugar" Lennear.

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