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Obama Admin. Again Promises Immigration Reform And Path To Citizenship

President Obama remains committed to passing a broad immigration reform bill early this year, according to a report from the New York Times. White House officials say the president will seek a comprehensive reform bill that includes a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants living in the country.

Many immigrant rights advocates worried that unfinished congressional deliberations over the government’s debt and growing calls for action on gun control could derail earlier White House promises to make immigration reform a top priority in 2013. But the President and members Congress have reiterated their intention to pass an immigration overhaul this year and those plans are on track. I reported last week that a bi-partisan group of Senators were at work over the holidays on a parallel reform proposal.

A Democratic Senate aide told me last week, “The fiscal cliff has not done a whole lot to immigration reform. There’s a lot of reporting on that, but it’s still moving.”

White House officials told the Times that they will put pressure on Congress to pass one major immigration bill, rather than a piecemeal approach that some Republicans favor. Floride Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, a leading GOP supporter of immigration reform, told the Wall Street Journal this weekend that he will push for four or five laws that together comprise “a comprehensive package of bills” rather than omnibus legislation.

White House officials also told the Times that the president would not accept a bill that does not include a route to citizenship. Republicans in the past have proposed immigration reform plans that provide immigrants access top permanent legal residency without full citizenship rights. The president would will require undocumented immigrants to pay fines and back taxes and other penalties before gaining legal status.

As I wrote earlier and the Times reported over the weekend, a comprehensive reform plan from the White House will also include a nationwide verification system to stop employers from hiring workers without legal papers; additional visas to deal with growing backlogs; an expanded guest-worker program to bring low-wage workers into the country; and a new program to allow immigrants with graduate degrees to stay.

Favianna Rodriguez Talks Art and Activism on Pharrell’s YouTube Channel

Favianna Rodriguez Talks Art and Activism on Pharrell's YouTube Channel

Voice of Art, a new documentary series on Pharrell Williams’ i am Other YouTube Channel, is releasing a three part documentary featuring artist Favianna Rodriguez, actress Rosario Dawson and Pulitzer Prize winning author Jose Antonio Vargas. The series explores how artists are using art to change immigration policy and perceptions of immigrants.

The first episode features the work of Favianna Rodriguez—a leading voice in the movement of artists raising awareness about U.S. immigration issues. Rodriguez is a co-founder of both Presente.org and Culture Strike, two groups pushing back against the wave of anti-immigrant rhetoric and legislation that has recently swept the nation. 

Rodriguez narrates the three-part documentary that looks at how art can be used for social change.

Other notables in the series include UndocuQueer artivist, Julio Salgado; Tucson Attorney and Human Rights Activist, Isabel Garcia; Writer and Presente.org co-founder, Roberto Lovato, and Emcee Jasiri X.


Colin Powell on GOP: ‘They Sort of Look Down on Minorities’

Colin Powell on GOP: 'They Sort of Look Down on Minorities'

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that the Republican party has to take “a very hard look at itself” because some GOP members in “look down at minorities.”

“The Republican party needs to take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country has changed,” Powell said. “The country is changing demographically, and if the Republican Party doesn’t change along with that demographic, it’s going to be in trouble.”

Powell went on to deconstruct some racially coded language he’s heard from other members of his party. theGrio.com has more details:

Powell described what he called a “dark vein of intolerance in some parts” of the Republican party. “They still sort of look down on minorities,” he said. Referring, without naming them, to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, Powell said: “when I see a former governor say that the president is ‘shucking and jiving,’” as Palin did last year, “that’s a racial era slave term. And when I see another former governor [Sununu], after the president’s first [2012 presidential] debate and he didn’t do well, say he was ‘lazy’ … he didn’t say he was slow, he was tired, he didn’t do well, he said he was ‘lazy.’” Now that may not mean anything to most Americans but to those of us who are African-American, the second word is ‘shiftless’ and then there’s a third word that goes with it.”

Powell added the “birther” movement to his list of examples of intolerance, and asked, “why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the party?”

The former secretary of state under President George W. Bush added that the GOP needs to address issues like healthcare, and economic opportunity for those who are lower income, adding that “the party has gathered unto itself the reputation that it’s the party of the rich.”

Powell also told NBC’s David Gregory that President Barack Obama’s nominee to be defense secretary, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, was “superbly qualified” and would be a strong advocate for Americans in uniform.

“This is a guy who would be very careful about putting their lives at risk because he put his life at risk,” Powell said.

Justice Sotomayor to Become First Latina to Administer Oath of Office

Justice Sotomayor to Become First Latina to Administer Oath of Office

Chief Justice John Roberts will once again administer the oath of office to President Barack Obama — first on Sunday, Jan. 20 and again then a second time during the public inauguration on Monday, Jan. 21.

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor will administer the oath of office for Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden personally selected Justice Sotomayor for the ceremony. She will become the first Latina and fourth female judge to administer an oath of office, according to the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

“It’s an incredible honor to have Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor swear me in,” Vice President Biden said in a statement. “I believed strongly that she would make a great Justice, and it was one of the greatest pleasures of my career to be involved in her selection to the Court. From the first time I met her, I was impressed by Justice Sotomayor’s commitment to justice and opportunity for all Americans, and she continues to exemplify those values today. Above all, I’m happy for the chance to be sworn in by a friend - and someone I know will continue to do great things.”

Three women have previously sworn-in presidents and vice presidents: Judge Sarah T. Hughes swore-in President Johnson in 1963; Justice Sandra Day O’Connor swore-in Vice President Dan Quayle in 1989; and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg swore-in Vice President Al Gore in 1997.

Quentin Tarantino Drops N-Word Less Than a Minute into Press Conference

Quentin Tarantino Drops N-Word Less Than a Minute into Press Conference

Director Quentin Tarantino’s film “Django Unchained” won two awards at last night’s Golden Globes awards.

Tarantino won a Golden Globe for “Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture” category and actor Christoph Waltz won for “Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.”

Less than a minute in to the director’s press conference backstage he had already dropped the N-word. Tarantino was answering a question about the use of the N-word in his film.

“If someone is out there actually saying that when it comes to the word nigger that the fact that I was using it in the more that it was used back in the antebellum south, in Mississippi 1858, then feel free to make that case,” Tarantino told reporters backstage shortly after his win. “But no one is actually making that case, so in other words what they’re actually saying is I should soften it, they’re saying i should lie , that I should whitewash, they’re saying I should massage and I never do that when it comes to my characters.”

“Django Unchained” is on pace to become Tarantino’s highest grossing movie ever. The film has made more than $125 million since its release on December 25, 2012.

‘Gun Appreciation Day’ Founder Says Slavery Wouldn’t Have Happened if Slaves Were Armed

'Gun Appreciation Day' Founder Says Slavery Wouldn't Have Happened if Slaves Were Armed

Is someone taking “Django Unchained” a little too seriously?

On Friday, the chairman of Gun Appreciation Day Larry Ward told CNN slavery wouldn’t of happened if slaves had been armed.

“The truth is, I think Martin Luther King would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history,” Ward said on CNN.

A coalition of gun rights and conservative groups announced on Monday that January 19, 2013 is “Gun Appreciation Day.” Organizers hope “Gun Appreciation Day” rivals “Chick-fil-A Day” as a public statement of protest against government policies, according to a press release.

(h/t Raw Story)

Obama to Use Lincoln’s and Martin Luther King’s Bibles for Swearing-in

Obama to Use Lincoln's and Martin Luther King's Bibles for Swearing-in

The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Thursday that President Obama will take his second oath of office on the Robinson family Bible on Sunday and on the Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. Bibles on Monday.

The Robinson Family Bible was selected specifically for the occasion. The bible was a gift from the First Lady’s father, Fraser Robinson III, to his mother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson on Mother’s Day in 1958. Mrs. Robinson was the first African-American woman manager of a Moody Bible Institute’s bookstore and she used the Bible regularly.

The Lincoln Bible is part of the collections of the Library of Congress and was originally purchased by William Thomas Carroll, Clerk of the Supreme Court, for use during Lincoln’s swearing-in ceremony on March 4, 1861. The Bible itself is bound in burgundy velvet with a gold-washed white metal rim around the three outside edges of both covers, and all of its edges are heavily gilded.

The King Bible was Dr. King’s “traveling bible.” An avid reader who was constantly on the road, Dr. King typically traveled with a selection of books that included this Bible. It was used for inspiration and preparing sermons and speeches, including during Dr. King’s time as pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

Though there is no constitutional requirement for the use of a Bible during the swearing-in, Presidents have traditionally used Bibles for the ceremony. In 2009, President Obama became the first President sworn in using the Lincoln Bible since its initial use in 1861, according to the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Release of DREAMer Erika Andiola’s Family Highlights Youth Movement’s Power

Release of DREAMer Erika Andiola's Family Highlights Youth Movement's Power

Within hours of an immigration raid on her family’s home last night, the mother and brother of undocumented immigrant activist Erika Andiola’s family were released from immigration detention this morning. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has indicated that it will likely exercise prosecutorial discretion in their cases, the Huffington Post reported. The swift response came even though Andiola’s mother Maria Arreola and brother Heriberto Andiola Arreola are undocumented, and faced likely deportation.

The flurry of public outrage and social media attention around the case—see the steady stream of tweets on the hashtag #WeAreAndiola—has highlighted two things: the power of the immigrant youth movement and the striking regularity and cruelty with which immigration agents break up everyday families in the country.

On Thursday night immigration officers knocked on Andiola’s Arizona home and asked for her mother, Andiola told reporters on a press call this morning. They handcuffed Arreola and asked Andiola’s older brother Heriberto, who was standing outside the home, if he was related to the family. When he refused to answer questions about his immigration status, he was arrested as well. Both were taken into custody and Andiola was notified that her mother faced imminent deportation because she had a prior outstanding deportation order against her. While in custody, Andiola’s brother told her immigration officers had a file on Andiola herself, and when immigration officers came to her home they did not, as is common practice, ask Andiola for her own status. She has work authorization and a social security number.

But, Andiola, a prominent activist who co-founded the Arizona Dream Act Coalition and has been an outspoken leader of the immigrant youth movement, quickly activated her extensive network, which include powerful national immigration rights organizations like the National Immigration Law Center, America’s Voice and DreamActivist.org. “I immediately started contacting different folks, people in my community and people in the movement,” Andiola said. “Thank God I got a lot of really great support from people I had worked with in the past and right now.” But the vast majority of the over 400,000 immigrants who were deported by President Obama last year did not have their cases amplified by social media and seized upon for quick mobilization by a national movement.

Interactive Map of January 11th Idle No More Events

Interactive Map of January 11th Idle No More Events

An “IdleNoMore Global Day of Action, Solidarity & Resurgence” has been called for January 11th. There are over 130 Idle No More events scheduled today, according to the Canadian news site The Media Co-op.

The Media Co-op compiled a list of events that include protests, flash mobs and teach-ins in an interactive map that spans the globe.

TAGS: Idle No More

True the Vote is Reloaded, Still Firing Blanks on Voter Fraud

After most of True the Vote’s plans last year were ruined by exposure by the press, some may have thought they might crawl away into a corner and rethink this whole voter harassment and suppression thing. Nope. True the Vote is back in 2013 reloaded with new offshoots and new plans — even as the old plans continue proving to be misfires. Last year, they launched “Voto Honesto,” their “Hispanic initiative” on electoral reform, pushing for voter ID and proof of citizenship laws to vote and register. This year they’ve jumped off with two new groups:

  • True the Vote NOW: A new initiative described as: “We promote ideas that actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation.” Basically, it’s a lobbying arm that sends people to the Texas legislature to push for True the Vote’s electoral reform laws. Right now, they are running with the “13 for ‘13 Legislative Recommendations,” which is modeled after the 22 legislative recommendations True the Vote sent to the Texas legislature in 2011. Six of those 22 became law in Texas, including a photo voter ID law — the strictest in the nation — that was eventually ruled a violation of the Voting Rights Act by a federal court. In their new “13 for ‘13” package they’ve doubled-down, this time not only asking for proof of citizenship for people to register but attacking early voting. They are asking Texas legislators to trim the early voting period, allow video cameras to record and live-stream the early voting sign-in areas and voting lines, and to give early voting clerks the power to dismiss “non-performing poll workers.” We’ll be tracking to see how many of these become law.

  • Citizen Patriot Response: Remember those videos where a guy dressed like a pimp and a woman dressed like a prostitute pretended to go into ACORN (RIP) offices and ask for public benefits? The guy was James O’Keefe. The woman was Hannah Giles. They’ve since split up, but Giles is now working with True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht to form Citizen Patriot Response, an outfit that portends to help promote the charitable activities of Tea Party and “liberty-minded” groups — basically a PR group to help reverse the negative tarnish those groups have earned for their real-life, less-than-charitable activities. It shouldn’t be overlooked that Engelbrecht and Giles have also partnered with Brandon Darby, who was once known as a “radical, left-wing” activist instrumental best known for his humanitarian efforts in New Orleans after Katrina until it was revealed that he was an FBI informant responsible for the entrapment and arrests of environmental and political activists. We’ll be tracking them as well.

Watch Darby talk about his conversion from left to right here:

Finally, the many claims of voter fraud by True the Vote have been proven false calls all too frequently. Their poor record on that continues. Yesterday, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement closed out several investigations into voter fraud in the state finding no evidence of it occurring. One of those cases came from True the Vote who alleged last year that several dozen people had been voting in both Florida and Rhode Island. The Florida law department found that to be untrue. As reported in Florida’s News Herald yesterday:

Another recent case that has been closed involved whether one voter had cast ballots in both Florida and Rhode Island. The case was initiated by the group called True the Vote, which initially said 36 people had voted in Florida and other states.

FDLE closed the case after state election officials were told by Rhode Island authorities that the name of the voter there was probably wrong and was listed incorrectly because of a poll worker’s error.

Photo: Mary J. Blige and Angela Bassett as Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz

Photo: Mary J. Blige and Angela Bassett as Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz

Yesterday Lifetime released an image of Angela Bassett and Mary J. Blige in the upcoming “Betty & Coretta”.

The film, which premieres Saturday, February 2, will tell the dual real-life stories of Coretta Scott King (Bassett) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Blige) after their husbands’ tragic assassinations.

DC Mayor Says Redskins Football Team Must Consider a Name Change to Return to Town

DC Mayor Says Redskins Football Team Must Consider a Name Change to Return to Town

On Monday the D.C. Council announced it wanted to bring the team back to Washington. But mayor Vincent Gray said on Wednesday the team’s nickname and mascot is unacceptable and that there needs to be a discussion before a move can even be considered.

“I think that if they get serious with the team coming back to Washington, there’s no doubt there’s going to have to be a discussion about that,” Gray said after a news conference, according to the Washington Post, “and of course the team is going to have to work with us around that issue.”

“I think it has become a lightning rod, and I would be love to be able to sit down with the team … and see if a change should be made,” he said. “There’s a precedent for this, and I think there needs to be a dispassionate discussion about this, and do the right thing.”

The Washington Post also points out the Redskins was one of the last teams to hire a black player.

“Recall that the Redskins, under avowed racist owner George Preston Marshall, did not field a black player until 1962, after Interior Secretary Stewart Udall threatened to deny the team the use of what would later be named RFK Stadium unless it integrate,” Mike DeBonis wrote for WaPo.

The Redkins played in D.C. from 1937 to ‘97 when they moved to Landover, Md.

Watch DREAMer’s Personal Plea Shortly After Mother Taken in ICE Raid

Watch DREAMer's Personal Plea Shortly After Mother Taken in ICE Raid

Erika Andiola’s mother and brother were taken from her Arizona home in a raid last night. She recorded this video shortly after.

Maria Arreola, and her brother, Heriberto Andiola Arreola, were taken into immigration custody, and while Andiola’s brother was released, her mother faced imminent deportation. But Andiola herself is not just any young Latina. She’s a well-known undocumented immigrant activist from Arizona who has fought against SB 1070 and anti-immigrant state laws, and advocated for the DREAM Act and humane immigration policy. She is a co-founder of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition and served on the board of United We Dream, a national network of immigrant youth organizations who have successfully defended undocumented immigrants from deportation with public campaigns.

Andiola’s family is but just one of the hundreds of thousands that have been affected by detention and deportation. Just last year alone, the Obama administration deported 409,846 immigrants in 2012, a new record even for Obama, who’s overseen the most aggressive deportation record of any administration.

The immigrant rights world has risen up swiftly to call for justice for Andiola’s family. Stay with Colorlines.com for more information.

What the Treasury Really Needs is People Power, Not Just Jack Lew

What the Treasury Really Needs is People Power, Not Just Jack Lew

By Washington standards, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Jack Lew. Lew was announced this morning as Treasury Secretary-designate by President Obama.

If confirmed, he will replace Tim Geithner. Geithner is the present embattled leader at Treasury who many argue was consistently a day late and a dollar short in addressing the needs of average Americans during the country’s worst financial crisis in eight decades. During Geithner’s tenure, black and Latino wealth fell to the lowest level ever recorded.

And that’s the problem. Lew’s part of Washington’s failed consensus on the budget and financial issues. Their fundamentally unfair approach holds that working class Americans should bear a disproportionate share of fixing the nation’s financial woes. This despite the fact that, as I’ve written before, the deficit was caused almost entirely by tax cuts which disproportionately benefited the rich.

To be frank about it, the government needs more revenue to get the economy going again and to provide economic opportunity for everyone through smart investments in transportation, housing, education, and scientific research. But that’s not what’s on offer from either the White House nor Capitol Hill right now. Spending cuts have outnumbered tax increases by almost 3-to-1 in budget agreements over the past year.

Don’t get it twisted. No one can argue that Lew isn’t infinitely qualified for the job. His A1 resume spans both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Lew was the federal government’s budget director not once but twice. He’s hardworking and decent beyond belief. But Lew’s not what we need right now. As Obama’s current Chief of Staff, he helped broker the “fiscal cliff” deal which could actually harden existing inequities.

Rather than a product of the DC machine, Americans require a Treasury Secretary who will put real people first and fight for economic opportunity despite calls for austerity. Given Lew’s nomination, we’re not likely to get it.

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Talks Immigration Reform with Seth Freed Wessler

Colorlines.com’s investigative reporter Seth Freed Wessler sat down with Melissa Harris-Perry to discuss the current state of immigration reform.


Wessler told Harris-Perry “the pressure is really on” for comprehensive immigration reform.

Wessler also reflected on his encounters with dozens of immigrant parents in U.S. detention centers. “These parents…are losing touch with their kids…their kids are being taken out of these families and are stuck in foster homes.”

The federal government conducted more than 200,000 deportations of parents who said their children are U.S. citizens in a timespan of just over two years, according to new data obtained by Colorlines.com. The figures represent the longest view to date of the scale of parental deportation.

Seven (Yes, 7!) Slave-Themed Films Coming in 2013

12-years-a-slave.png

2013 is going to be the year of the slave-theme movies.

Shadow & Act’s Tambay A. Obenson compiled a list of all the slave-themed films currently in production and found there’s seven films (that he knows of) in the works that will be released in 2013.

Obenson has dubbed the current Hollywood trend  the “slave movie fever” and says the 150 year anniversary of the Civil War may be why all the studios are flocking to the slave genre.

Steve McQueen’s “Twelve Years A Slave,” an adaptation of Solomon Northup’s autobiography, is perhaps getting the most attention. The film about a man living in New York during the mid-1800s that’s kidnapped and sold into slavery in the south has a respected black director and a spectacular cast. The cast includes Quvenzhané Wallis, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Ruth Negga, Adepero Oduye, Alfre Woodard, Lupita Nyong’o, Brad Pitt and Michael K. Williams.

Another film, “Big Ben Jones,” will star former NFL linebacker Jeremiah Trotter as an escaped slave. Cuba Gooding Jr. also stars in “Something Whispered,” and Danny Glover co-stars in the upcoming slave uprising film, “Tula, The Revolt.”

Feel overwhelmed? 

The good news is we may actually see a black actor or director win an Oscar in 2014. 

McQueen has said before that he “could never make American movies - they like happy endings.” (He’s also not afraid to talk about the politics of race.) “Twelve Years A Slave” is expected to come with a wildly different take on the subject compared to ‘Django.’ 

Visit “Shadow & Act” to read about the rest of the films.

Virginia Governor Says Restore Voting Rights for Nonviolent Felon Offenders

Virginia Governor Says Restore Voting Rights for Nonviolent Felon Offenders

[UPDATED 5:03 p.m.: This post was updated with a correction that changes the number of states that permanently bars felony offenders from voting from three, which I originally listed by error, to four. It also adds information from the NAACP on the number of people in Virginia whose vote was restored by Gov. Bob McDonnell to date — B. Mock]


Yesterday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced in his 2013 State of the Commonwealth speech that he supports Republican-sponsored bills to automatically restore civil rights — including voting rights — for nonviolent felony offenders. Virginia is one of four states that permanently bars felony offenders from voting or running for office even after they’ve already served time in prison and any probation/parole sentence. The governor alone can restore those rights and only after a cumbersome process that includes a two-year wait for nonviolent offenders or a five-year wait for violent offenders. There are roughly 350,000 Virginians, most of then African Americans, disenfranchised due to this law.

Gov. McDonnell is now saying the wait is over for nonviolent offenders — or at least that it should be. Automatic rights restoration will only happen with an amendment to the state’s constitution, which can only be done by the state legislature. According to The Washington Post, Republicans in that legislature gave Gov. McDonnell’s appeal a lukewarm response, and those who head the committees responsible for creating such legislation oppose automatic rights restoration.

However, McDonnell was clear about his support for it, saying:

“While we have significantly improved and fast-tracked the restoration of civil rights process, it’s still an executive process. As a nation that believes in redemption and second chances, we must provide a clear path for willing individuals to be productive members of society once they have served their sentences and paid their fines and restitution. It is time for Virginia to join most of the other states and make the restoration of civil rights an automatic process for non-violent offenders.”

Civil rights advocates for voting rights and erasing felony disenfranchisement welcomed McDonnell’s support.

“The governor has embraced the principle of redemption and the legislature should follow his lead,” stated Judith Browne Dianis, co director of Advancement Project. “Evidence shows that voting reduces the likelihood of recidivism helping to strengthen our families and communities. These are citizens often trying to rebuild their lives. They live and work in our neighborhoods. They pay taxes. They should not be denied the right to raise their voice in the ballot box.”

“Governor McDonnell is again leading the way for states still practicing felony disenfranchisement to eradicate themselves from antiquated and racially biased disenfranchisement laws,” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP.  “As we continue to fight these battles on the ground, we hope that legislatures across the United States and especially in Kentucky, Iowa, Florida and Virginia make automatic restoration of rights a permanent fix in their state constitutions.”


According to the NAACP, McDonnell has restored the voting rights of 4,423 people to date, which is officially more than the number of people whose rights were restored under the previous governor Timothy Kaine, who currently represents Virginia in the U.S. Senate. McDonnell is in the last year of his term as governor of Virginia. Governors are limited to one term in the state.

Oscar Disaster: ‘Django’ Costume Designer Revealed in Glitch Didn’t Get a Nomination

Oscar Disaster: 'Django' Costume Designer Revealed in Glitch Didn't Get a Nomination

Earlier this week I wrote about an Oscars.org glitch that revealed a page announcing the ‘Djanco Unchained’ costume designer received an Oscar nomination. The news made international headlines after Vanity Fair published screen shots of the page that announced the nominee one week early.

“This is the third Academy Award nomination for Sharon Davis,” read the page on Oscar.org that featured images the costumes she created for ‘Django Unchained.’

But in the end it turned out Davis did not receive a nomination.

The worst part is Vanity Fair actually contacted Davis when they saw the page to get a statement.

“Oh my gosh! I haven’t even lost weight!” Davis told Vanity fair when the reporter delivered the news. “I never thought about an Oscar in my life. When they called me for Ray, I thought it was a prank call. I said, ‘Am I going to open the door and see one of those fake, standing Oscars?’”

TAGS: Django Oscars

Denzel and Quvenzhané Are The Only Actors of Color Nominated for Oscars

Denzel and Quvenzhané Are The Only Actors of Color Nominated for Oscars

Out of the twenty Oscar nominations for actors announced this morning, only two went to actors of color.

Denzel Washington was nominated in the best performance by an actor in a leading role category for playing the boozy airline pilot in “Flight.”

Quvenzhané Wallis star of the widely acclaimed “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” earned a best-actress Oscar nomination on Thursday morning.

This is Denzel’s sixth career Academy Award nomination, making him the most honored black actor in history, according to TheGrio. He’s won twice before: supporting actor for 1989′s Glory and best actor for his villainous role in 2001′s Training Day.

Neither Jamie Foxx or Kerry Washington were nominated for their roles in “Django Unchained.” However, Christoph Waltz, who played the man who saved them from the slave trade, earned a nomination in the supporting actor category.

A 2012 L.A. Times investigation found The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that votes for the Oscars, is nearly 94 percent white and 77 percent male, Blacks made up about 2 percent of the academy, and Latinos made up less than 2 percent.

Quvenzhané Wallis Is Youngest to Get Oscar Nod for ‘Best Actress’

Quvenzhané Wallis Is Youngest to Get Oscar Nod for 'Best Actress'

Quvenzhané Wallis star of the widely acclaimed “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” earned a best-actress Oscar nomination on Thursday morning.

‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ was also nominated for the coveted Best Picture award.

Wallis was only 6-years-old when she appeared in her first acting role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” She competed with thousands of other elementary-aged girls for the role of Hushpuppy, a child who struggles to come to the gripes with the pending loss of both her father and her coastal home.

The full list of nominees in the performance by an actress in a leading role category are:

  • Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour”
  • Quvenzhané Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • Naomi Watts in “The Impossible”

This year the category includes the youngest nominee and the oldest nominee, as Riva is 85-years-old.

The 85th Academy Awards will air live on February 24.

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