67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater - Press Room Featuring: Viola Davis Where: Los Angeles, California, United States When: 20 Sep 2015 Credit: Brian To/WENN.com

 

Viola Davis became the first Africa-American woman to win the Emmy’s top acting award – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series – last night, thanking her fellow black actresses for persevering in an industry where the roles are often “simply not there” for people of color.

Accepting her award for ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, Davis quoted Harriet Tubman, for whom she is currently working on an HBO biopic:

“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,” 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.”

 

An emotional Davis went on to thank many other actresses of color, including fellow nominee Taraji P. Henson, Scandal star Kerry Washington, and Halle Berry. “Thank you for taking us over that line,” she said.

Davis’ speech was a highlight, and drew a standing ovation from Henson in the crowd. Well done!

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[Source: The Independent]

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