Monday, September 21, 2015

Actress Viola Davis makes history

Congratulations to Actress Viola Davis for becoming the first African American woman to win an Outstanding Actress in a Drama Emmy for her role as Annalise Keaton in the hit Shonda Rhimes' blockbuster, 'How to Get Away with Murder.'

Not only was her speech moving (see below) but she also referenced Harriet Tubman, wearing a chic short natural hair style.  Say it, Viola! I am here for ALL of this.

"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 an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So, here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, 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 and Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goodes, to Gabrielle Union. Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you for the Television Academy. Thank you."
Davis wasn't the only African American actress who won last night; Regina King snared an Emmy for American Crime, and Uzo Aduba's earned a second Emmy for Orange Is the New Black. Congrats to the winners! 

And let's be clear: The Emmy's has ALWAYS had a problem with accepting and recognizing actors of color. Historically, it has been a pat on the head -- Black and brown faces in the audience, but very few go home with that statuette. And let's not even talk about the lack of Emmy-worthy roles that go to Black actors and actresses in the first place.

This is what made the wins -- and Davis' acceptance speech -- so powerful.  And this image:


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