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Author of 'The Power of the Broke' Daymond John served as the event keynote speaker- June 8, 2016
African American women took over the 67th Emmy Awards Sunday night breaking dynamics and supporting each other in the process.
This awards show was one for the books as Viola Davis, Regina King, and Uzo Aduba all took home awards.
“The only thing that separates women of color from everyone else is opportunity,” Davis said in her speech. “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”
Host Adam Samberg even recognized such greatness at the beginning of the Emmy Awards.
“This is the most diverse group of nominees in Emmy history, so congratulations, Hollywood, you did it!” Samberg said to the audience. “Yeah. Racism is over! Don’t fact check that.”
Viola David became the first African American woman to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for her role on How to Get Away with Murder. Taraji P. Henson was also nominated in that same category.
Regina King won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for her role in American Crime.
Uzo Aduba won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Orange is the New Black as “Crazy Eyes.” She is the the first performer in decades to win both a comedy and dramaViola Davis Wins Outstanding Lead Actress In Drama Series Emmy for playing the same character.
Davis gave such an emotional speech beginning with a quote from Harriet Tubman, “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.” She also talked about the difficulties black women face in Hollywood, connecting with not just every black actress.
She acknowledged successful black actresses — like Kerry Washington, Halle Berry, Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good and Gabrielle Union —for “taking us over that line.”
How ironic the King was just in an interview a few months ago with TheGrio.com saying she would like to see more “colorful” nominations at the Emmys; now here she is nominated and winning.
“To my amazing mother and grandmother, who have taught me the power and the blessing of being a woman,” said King in her speech.
Compliments are also in order to Shonda Rhimes, the producer for How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal, two of the top leading shows on ABC. She definitely has changed the perception of television as it relates to Black women. Rhimes is one of few who have “redefined what it means be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman…to be black,” according to Davis.
She shows that there is more to us than Bad Girls Club and Love and Hip Hop.
These African American women are breaking barriers, but the fight for African American woman to knock down doors is not over. We have to keep progressing and forcing society to acknowledge us for our many great accomplishments.
Congratulations King, Davis, Aduba and Rhimes.