What a difference a year makes.
Two years after #OscarSoWhite immersed the Academy Awards in controversy, Viola Davis took home her first Oscar for her role in "Fences" while Mahershala Ali was also a first time winner for his role in "Moonlight."
Ali was showered with nominations and trophies for his portrayal of a drug dealer who mentors a troubled youngster in "Moonlight," which is also in the running for best picture.
Ali thanked his "many wonderful teachers" for a valuable lesson. "It's not about you," he recalled being told, but about serving the stories and the characters he's playing.
Davis won for her portrayal of a mother determined to hold her family together despite the rages of her husband, who is played by best actor nominee Denzel Washington.
The Oscar win comes in a role that Davis previously won a Tony Award for when she starred opposite Washington in a Broadway revival of "Fences." The film is the first big-screen adaptation of an August Wilson play.
Davis said in her acceptance speech, "Here's to August Wilson who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people." She also praised Washington and her parents, breaking down in tears.