Snubbed filmmaker blasts the Oscars for ‘perpetuating an unabashed misogyny’

Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images for National Board of Review

Nigerian-American film director Chinonye Chukwu is speaking out about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ biases in overlooking her film Till and others like The Woman King.

The director took to Instagram to share her perspective on her film being ignored by the Academy. She opened up about some of the unique challenges Black women face in the film industry. In her post, she also talked about the irrepressible mindset that helps her navigate an oppressive system.

Chukwu’s post is an open expression of the radical self-care developed by civil rights activist and feminist Audre Lorde, who defined the practice of self-validation as a political action. Many Black women striving to realize their full potential in hostile environments use the method to overcome misogynoir, a word used to describe the double jeopardy of misogyny and racism.

The stubborn joy Chukwu references takes its inspiration from poet and author Maya Angelou, who paid homage to the radical self-care practices of Black women in works like Still, I Rise, Phenomenal Woman, and, We Wear The Masks.

However, the most unmistakable inspiration for Chukwu’s post are the words of Black feminist author Alice Walker, who wrote, “Resistance is the secret of joy.” 

Mamie Till-Bradley is one of the most important yet overlooked figures in the American civil rights movement. Her 14-year-old son, Emmett, was brutally murdered following accusations that he whistled at a white woman in Mississippi. Till-Brandley’s courage in her pursuit of rectitude brought international attention to the equality movement.

Chukwu turned her disappointment into a teaching moment for anyone who’s felt let down for blatantly unjust reasons. Her transparency offers helpful insight into powerful and proven ways to overcome opposition.