Mahershala Ali made history when he won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in “Moonlight” on Sunday.
Ali is the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar; he was raised Christian but converted to Islam as an adult.
At the SAG Awards in January, he spoke out against President Trump’s travel ban and said, “What I’ve learned from ‘Moonlight’ is you see what happens when we persecute people. They fold into themselves. I hope that we do a better job.” He then tearfully recounted how he and his mother, an ordained Christian minister, have grown closer in the years since the actor became a Muslim.
Ali said in his Oscars speech, “I want to thank my teachers, my professors. I had so many wonderful teachers. One thing that they consistently told me, that is wasn’t about you, it’s not about you, it’s about these characters. You are in service to these stories and these characters, and I’m so blessed to have had an opportunity. It was about Juan, it was about Chiron, it was about Paula.”
He also thanked his wife and announced, “We just had a daughter four days ago.”