Viola Davis: Why Representation Matters
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Viola Davis: Why Representation Matters

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Viola Davis: Why Representation Matters

Viola Davis really needs no introduction. The "How to Get Away with Murder" actress has been dominating in her field, making history, and winning our hearts all at once.

Just this year, she won the 2015 Emmy for outstanding actress in a drama series, and made history! She is the first African-American women to win, even though Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, and a few others were nominated in the past; Davis is the first to win. It was an amazing and tender moment for women of color everywhere, to see beautiful proof that they can achieve great things. Of course, she had a wildly truthful and inspirational speech to go along with the big win.

"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."

This isn't her first amazing quote either. At the 2012 Crystal Award for Excellence in Film, she said "I believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are, truly being who you are. And I've spent far too long apologizing for that — my age, my color, my lack of classical beauty — that now at the age of, well, at the age of 46, I'm very proud to be Viola Davis, for whatever it's worth."

She continues to be unapologetic about who she is as a woman of color. In 2004 for TIME, she said "It's time for people to see us — people of color — for what we really are: complicated." and in 2013 for ESSENCE she said, "The one thing I feel is lacking in Hollywood today is an understanding of the beauty, the power, the sexuality, the uniqueness, the humor of being a regular Black woman."

Representation matters, and Viola Davis is truly exceeding expectations. She kills every role, no matter how big or small, she makes history, and gracefully leaves us with important and inspiring quotes. Women of color all over the world thank you, Viola. You continue to show us what it really means to work hard, love yourself and demand exactly what you deserve. The love you have for yourself and for other women of color will definitely influence millions of young girls of color for a lifetime.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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