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Viola Davis Becomes The First Black Woman To Win Outstanding Lead Actress

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67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Press Room

History was made last night during the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards. Viola Davis, who’s the lead actress on ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, became the first African American woman to take home an Emmy for Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series.

Davis started her speech by quoting Harriet Tubman, then going on to say, “the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity…you cannot win Emmy’s for roles that are not there.” (Powerful by the way) She then goes on and thanks the other women of color, which included other nominees Taraji P. Henson, Halle Berry, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union and Kerry Washington.

Here’s her full speech:

“In my mind, I see a line. And over that line I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.’ That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. And let me tell you something. The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win Emmys for roles that are not there.

“So here’s to all the writers, the awesome people… Shonda Rhimes. People who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman. To be black. And to the Taraji P. Hensons, the Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharis, the Meagan Goods, to Gabrielle Union. Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you, for the television academy.”

Even though Taraji was nominated as well for her role as Cookie on Empire, she could not have been happier while standing and cheering for her throughout her speech. This is Viola’s first Emmy and it was well deserved.

Congrats to Viola Davis you’ve open doors for many young women of color.

Photo Credit(s): Getty Images

 

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