Congressman John Lewis received a standing ovation as he took the stage at The Oscars to introduce "Green Book" as one of the nominees for Best Picture.
The film from Universal Pictures stars Mahershala Ali as an African-American concert pianist in the 1960s and Viggo Mortensen as his driver.
"I can bear witness that the portrait of that time and place in our history is very real. It is seared in my memory," an emotional Lewis said.
Lewis was a key member of the civil rights movement who spoke at the March on Washington and the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
"Our nation bears the scars of that time, as do I,” Lewis said.
Minutes later, "Green Book" was announced as Best Picture.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.