Before actor Mahershala Ali won his first Oscar for Best Actor in Moonlight, he won big with the birth of his first daughter, Bari Najma Ali.
Ali announced the birth during his Academy Award acceptance speech, “I just wanna thank my wife, who was in her third trimester doing awards season. We just had a daughter four days ago [huge applause from the audience].”
He added, “I just wanna thank her for being such a soldier through this process… and really carrying me through it all. Thank you, I really appreciate it. Peace and blessings.”
Before then, he shared a photo of his wife Amatus Sami-Karim cradling their baby on his Instagram page, captioned with her name, how it is pronounced and a hashtag about the baby’s astrological sign.
“Bari (Bar-ee) Najma Alii 💜 2/22/17 #pisces,” he captioned the photo.
Baby girl escaped being called Oscaria. During a pre-Oscar interview, the actor who also stars in a heavily nominated film, Hidden Figures, joked that if the baby arrived after he won the Oscar he would name her Oscaria if a girl.
Ali made Oscar history as well. He instantly made history as the first Muslim to win the Best Actor award ever. Ali’s film Moonlight took home the Best Film award, albeit after a much talked about controversial and history-making moment. Presenter Warren Beatty was given the duplicate envelope for Best Actress. He opened the envelope and noticed the error and peered inside the envelope looking for another card. Beatty hesitated and did not announce the winner and instead showed the envelope to his co-presenter Faye Dunaway who immediately announced La La Land, which was the movie listed under Emma Stone’s name.
Last night also was historic because the most Black winners won in major categories ever.