The true story of Oscar Grant II being shot and killed in Oakland, California, by a transit cop early New Year’s Day 2009 was critically acclaimed, and Michael B. Jordan was special in the lead role. The film won the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film. But Jordan, actress Octavia Spencer and the film itself weren’t nominated at the Oscars last year.
This film, with an accomplished ensemble starring Phylicia Rashad and Al Freeman Jr., chronicled the life of young Cliff (Charles Earl Taylor Jr.) growing up in rural, segregated Mississippi in the 1940s and 1950s under the care of his great-grandfather Poppa (Freeman) and great-grandmother Ma Pearl (Paula Kelly). Cliff realizes life for Black folks in the South is tough, but he and his community fight nonviolently for their civil rights. A strong story about Blacks battling the establishment received no love from the Academy Awards in any category.