‘Tis the season for “black girl magic.” After a host of beautiful brown ladies covered the September issues of magazines such as Vogue, Shape, Ebony, Essence and Variety, the recognition continued at Sunday night’s (Sept. 20) Emmy Awards. For her starring (and compelling) role on ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, Viola Davis made history as the first black woman to win the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award. In her inspiring speech, Davis acknowledges the strides taken to afford women of color more opportunities on television:
“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,” she said. “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, the Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goods. To Gabrielle Union. Thank you for taking us over that line.”
The night also featured wins for Queen Latifah and Mo’Nique (whose Bessie film won Outstanding Television Movie), Regina King (whose role on American Crime led to her first Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series), and Uzo Aduba who took home the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Orange Is The New Black. During her speech, Aduba shared a tearful moment with her sister.
After the milestone night, several stars took to social media in support of the ladies:
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) September 21, 2015
Everyone, @ReginaKing is one of the most wonderful people you will ever meet and work with. And a damned good director.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) September 21, 2015
— DASH (@SheIsDash) September 21, 2015