#Emmys: Viola Davis Makes History as First Black Lead Actress Winner
Viola Davis took home the Emmy for lead actress in a drama series for her lead role as Annalise Keating on How to Get Away with Murder at Sunday night’s ceremony, making her the first Black actress to win the award.
“In my dreams and visions, I seemed to see a line, and on the other side of that line were green fields, and lovely flowers, and beautiful white ladies, who stretched out their arms to me over the line, but I couldn’t reach them no-how,” Davis said, quoting Harriet Tubman in her acceptance speech. “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.”
Davis ended her speech by dedicating her award to other Black actresses including Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson.
“Thank you for taking us over that line,” she said.
The award marks Davis’ first Emmy nomination and win. Fans and celebrities alike, including Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes and Janet Mock, celebrated Davis’ historic honor on social media.
VIOLA omg HISTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so excited for you baby!!!!
— octavia spencer (@octaviaspencer) September 21, 2015
“To be a woman…to be BLACK!” I AM DONE TONIGHT. Viola has me on the floor. #Emmys
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) September 21, 2015
OMG!!! I’m floored… and proud and crying… VIOLA VIOLA VIOLA!!! Thank you for letting us share your shine!!! Man… tears
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) September 21, 2015
And DO NOT ignore the way Taraji P. Henson and Kerry Washington were supporting Viola’s victory. That’s UNITY. That’s sisterhood.
— Indigo (@imindigomoon) September 21, 2015
— LGeorgeBTQ (@IamGMJohnson) September 21, 2015