Hairstylists Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson were the first Black winners of the Oscar in makeup and hairstyling for their work on the Netflix drama based around August Wilson’s play that follows the Ma Rainey, a blues singer (played by Viola Davis) during a sometimes-tumultuous recording session in 1920s Chicago.”Thank you to our ancestors who put the work in, who were denied, and never gave up,” said Neal, who accepted the award onstage with Wilson and fellow winner (for makeup) Sergio Lopez-Rivera in the article. “I stand here as Jamika and I break this glass ceiling with so much excitement for the future — because I can picture Black trans women standing up here, and Asian sisters, our Latina sisters and Indigenous women. I know one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking. It will just be normal.”
It was the first nomination and first win of this kind for Neal, the film’s hair and wig designer and hair department head; Wilson, personal hairstylist for Viola Davis; and Lopez-Rivera, Davis’ personal makeup artist, according to the story.
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