Where Does Lupita Go From Here?

“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

On Sunday night my Twitter timeline was flooded with positive emotions and well wishing on behalf of Lupita Nyong’o who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Patsey in “12 Years A Slave.” It wasn’t the only award “12 Years” would win on the night however, as the film also won for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Lupita has come a long way in just a few short months. If you had asked anyone just last summer about who Lupita Nyong’o was, most people would probably give you a quizzical response. But then “12 Years A Slave” began premiering — and winning — at various film festivals picking up momentum into its eventual theatrical release in October. The film’s director, Steve McQueen, and star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, weren’t exactly household names prior to “12 Years A Slave,” but they had worked on other projects in the past. “12 Years A Slave” introduced Lupita Nyong’o to world and the Oscars were just the crescendo to her months long coming out party.

Despite all the attention, media profiles, and magazine covers, I truly do wonder what becomes of Lupita from here on out. In what was sort of a subtle reminder of just how fleeting celebrity can be (particularly for black actors in Hollywood) Gabourey Sidibe made a brief appearance at the Oscars when she presented the award for Best Original Song. It was just four years ago that she along with Monique were the talk of the town for their roles in Lee Daniels’ 2009 film “Precious.” It’s safe to say neither of their careers has had the expected trajectory of Oscar nominated actresses.

Perhaps Lupita’s career arc will be different. Unlike Monique and Gabourey, Lupita has a certain “it” factor about her right now that is simply hard to dismiss. Also, Lupita does have a small part in the current Liam Neeson thriller “Non Stop.” Hopefully “12 Years A Slave” is only the beginning to an illustrious career for Lupita Nyong’o and not just a mere footnote in Oscar history.

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