#BlackGirlMagic ran wild at last night’s Emmys when Viola Davis became the first Black actress to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
It’s the role of Annalise Keating in How To Get Away With Murder that brought Davis the win, of course, but it’s the actress’ perseverance in an industry that doesn’t necessarily want to see women like her succeed that allowed her to make history. Quoting Harriet Tubman in her acceptance speech, Davis said:
“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. 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.”
Recognizing “people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black,” Davis went on to shout out Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington, Hallie Berry, and Gabrielle Union, saying “Thank you for taking us over that line.”
And then more tears ensued.
Watch Viola Davis’ moving speech below. Also, special shout out to Uzo Aduba who took home an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role as “Crazy Eyes” in Orange is the New Black and Regina King who was named Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for American Crime.