I held my breath last night waiting for the winner of the category ‘Lead Actress in a Drama Series’ to be announced. Honestly, I did not care if Viola or Taraji P. Henson won for regardless of who won, we won. A slight pause and they announced the winner of the category. Adrien Brody called out Viola Davis’ name and I bawled. You would have thought my own relative won an award for the amount of tears I shed. Viola hugged her husband and friend and went straight into the arms of Taraji who embraced her with so much love because they both knew what a powerful moment this was.
Viola walked to the stage with determination, grace, and humility. She took a moment to soak in the applause and then she spoke.
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.
But can I say thank you to Viola. Thank you for being a winner all of these years. No, it is not always about trophies, but I am glad that you were recognized for your work. Thank you for embracing your blackness. Thank you for being an inspiration. Thank you for honoring those who came before you, those who are walking this road with you now, and for taking future generations of black actresses over that line.
Viola, you are gold and I hope you know your win meant so much to me!
Until the next post,