Viola Davis stopped the world when she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series for her leading role in "How to Get Away With Murder." She has had various roles in movies and shows that deserved recognition. Viola is an amazing actress that has been very humble about her talents.
At the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards, everything changed for Viola when she accepted her award.
Viola became the first African American to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series. Also nominated for this award was Taraji P. Henson for her role as Cookie in Empire. It was known that history was going to be made that night.
When Viola was announced as the winner, Viola and Taraji immediately turned from competitors for the same award to sisters uplifting each other. Taraji did not remain sitting in her seat as Viola accepted the award; she stood up and embraced Viola and clapped for her as she made her acceptance speech.
At that moment, many black women across the country had hope for each other and understood the definition of what it means to "have your sisters' back."
Alongside Viola, Regina King and Uzo Aduba were also black women that walked away with Primetime Emmy Awards. Regina King won the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (American Crime) as well as Uzo Aduba won the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Orange is the New Black). Every black woman in that audience, whether she had an award or not, was a winner. Because if one sister won, then they all won.
Viola's Acceptance speech also made history in that she said things that many black women were afraid to say.
Her powerful speech stated:
"'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, the Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goods, to Gabrielle Union: Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you to the Television Academy. Thank you."
There was not one person in the house seated; she received a standing ovation. There were tears of joy flowing from viewers, including myself.
As a student at an All Women's Historically Black College, I know where that line is, and just as Viola said thank you to her colleagues, I say thank you to Viola for taking us over that line as well. Taraji and Viola have shown us what it means to uplift our fellow black woman, no matter what the circumstances. As an aspiring broadcast journalist, I hope to cross that line, as well as bring more black women across that line.
Congratulations again, Viola, Taraji, Regina, and Uzo. Thank you for making history. Thank you for showing the media that we are more than our hips and thighs -- we are intelligent, talented and changing the world.