David Oyelowo Wears Touching Tribute (on His Tux!) to Martin Luther King Jr. at the Critics' Choice Awards

David Oyelowo celebrated what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 86th birthday Thursday with a very special tribute to the civil rights leader. The actor, who portrays Dr. King in the Oscar-nominated film Selma, hit the red carpet at the Critics’ Choice Awards wearing a suit jacket lined with lyrics to one of the late activist’s favorite gospel songs.

David Oyelowo MLK tuxedo

Taylor Hill/Getty

Oyelowo proudly displayed the words scrolled on the inside of his jacket from the hymn “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” The 38-year-old British actor was surprisingly snubbed for the Best Actor Oscar nomination, as was Selma director Ava DuVernay, sparking a racially-charged discussion in Hollywood.

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“People have asked me time and again, why has it taken so for a film about Dr. King to get made,” Oyelowo told
Entertainment Tonight
. “We live in an imperfect world, so we tried to make it a little bit more perfect by getting that film done.”

He added that he will continue to pursue roles that breakthrough boundaries.

“We’re just going to keep plugging away,” he said. “The only way to put a dent in the very real fact that there is a disproportionate amount of people who do not look like me doing what I do is something that I’m just going to fight by doing the best I can with the roles I get.”

What do you think of Oyelowo tribute to Dr. King? Do you think Selma was snubbed? Share your thoughts below.

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–Brittany Talarico

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