Bronx connections at this year's Oscars


There was some Bronx representation at last week’s Oscar ceremony. And by Bronx, we mean DeWitt Clinton High School.

The newest titleholder for best supporting actress, Regina King, is from Los Angeles. But the film she won her Oscar from — “If Beale Street Could Talk” — is based on the 1974 novel by James Baldwin.

King played Sharon Rivers, a mother who finds herself supporting her daughter, whose boyfriend has been wrongfully accused of rape.

It was King’s first Oscar nomination, and now adds to a collection of awards that includes a Golden Globe for the same role, as well as three Emmys for her television work.

Despite growing up in Harlem, Baldwin attended Clinton, graduating in 1942. He later would move to France, where he would write a bulk of his most popular works, including “The Fire Next Time” and “The Devil Finds Work.”

Baldwin died in 1987 from stomach cancer, leaving behind an unfinished manuscript about some of the country’s biggest civil rights leaders, “Remember This House.” That manuscript served as the basis for the 2016 documentary from Raoul Peck, “I Am Not Your Negro.”

“Black Panther,” the second-highest grossing film of 2018, went into Sunday night with seven nominations, including best picture. It won three — for best costume design, best original score and best production design.

The film is based on the comic book character created by Clinton alum Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Lee, who graduated from Clinton in 1939, also had another work based on one of his characters take home an Oscar: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” won for best animated film.

Lee died last November at 95.


More money for Tibbetts Brook

Friends of Van Cortlandt Park has won a $100,000 grant designed to help it continue its planned restoration of Tibbetts Brook.

The money is part of a $2.6 million grant from the state’s environmental conservation department awarded to dozens of groups around New York designed to support projects that address environmental and public health concerns in low-income and minority communities.

Originally awarded last December, it joins other money also making its way to the Bronx, including just under $73,000 for the Bronx River Alliance, and $100,000 for The Bronx is Blooming.

This round of grants was expected to help enhance and clean up vacant lots, create organic urban farms, improve local waterways, expand environmental education, and engage young people with green jobs.