Not only did the star pick up the Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for her role in The Farewell, but she also became the first Asian woman ever to win that award. Until 2019, there had never been an Asian woman nominated in the category. That year, Constance Wu broke through that barrier with her nod for Crazy Rich Asians.
Awkwafina, also known as Nora Lum, lavished praise on director Lulu Wang during in acceptance speech.
"You gave me this chance, the chance of a lifetime, and you've taught me so much. Just filming this story, being with you, is incredible."
In The Farewell, Awkwafina stars as a young woman who returns to Changchun, China, where she was born, to visit her grandmother, who is dying. She gave her family a huge shoutout in her speech, dedicating the award to her dad, her grandmother and her late mother, who she lost when she was just a child.
"To my late mother, Tia, who I always hoped was watching from somewhere above, I hope that she's watching right now," the star finished.
Backstage, Awkwafina said she found the fact that she was the first Asian woman to win the award "mindblowing."
"It feels incredible, but I also think there's this other feeling that you want there to be more," she said. "I hope this is just the beginning."