Ava DuVernay Talking About Her Mother Will Make You Shed One Big, Happy Tear

Get the Full Story“She s a very empathetic woman. A soft heart in a hard world.”

Realistically, Ava DuVernay needs no introduction, but to put it plain and simple: DuVernay is a trailblazing filmmaker

she's the first black female director to have a film Selma nominated for the Academy Award's Best Picture and, you know, an all-around queen.


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But, like many of us, DuVernay would not be where she is today without the support and guidance of her mother.

Ava with her mother, Darlene Maye.

Kevork Djansezian Getty

During a W Hotels "What She Said" event celebrating A Wrinkle in Time, femininity, and gender equality, which BuzzFeed attended, DuVernay talked about some of the important lessons she learned from her mother.

Chris Swoszowski, Courtesy of W Hotels Worldwide

She says that to me now. You know, it’s challenging, especially in this industry, where people are treating you in a certain way, where you have a preconceived notion of how you will be treated, to kind of come in with an open heart and an open vibe. A lot of times I walk in rooms and I’m the only one that looks like me and it’s challenging to stay open and fluid in those situations as opposed to kind of feeling on guard.

On set with her A Wrinkle in Time cast and crew.

ava Via instagram.com

My mother had me when she was 18. And so, it was a very close relationship. And I think something about making A Wrinkle in Time was trying to capture or tap into the way I felt as a girl. I was feeling kind of insecure and unconfident like so many kids feel, particularly girls. But my mother was always my "Mrs.," my champion.

Chris Swoszowski, Courtesy of W Hotels Worldwide

Sometimes I hear my mother in my head, but she definitely gave that foundation of parity and equality and being just as good as anyone else ... and kind of looking at the world in that way. She’s a very empathetic woman. A soft heart in a hard world.

BRB, gotta go grab some Kleenex.

ava Via instagram.com