When Viola Davis Won The Emmy, Every Black Girl Won.
When I watched the Emmy’s on Sunday night I was excited to see all my favorite actors and actresses gathered in one room. There is just a sense of magic that is circulating around awards shows. Usually my favorite moments happen before the actual awards show. I love the red carpet, that is where you can see your favorite actor and actress a little more candidly. I knew my favorite actresses would be nominated tonight (Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series) Taraji P. Henson for “Empire,” and Viola Davis for “How to get away with murder.” While they shared the same category I prayed that one of them took home the gold statue. When they called Viola Davis’s name my entire house roared as if we were at the Emmy’s and had won the award. Because when she won, every black girl won. There is something inside of all our black little spirits that feel like we have all made it when one of us makes it.
No matter what reality television says, Black women have a sisterhood in us that cannot be broken. Many will not understand why Taraji jumped from her seat like she had won. Or why Kerry Washington was sitting in the audience crying tears of joy. They simply won’t get the sisterhood, an exclusive membership, the requirement is simple, you have to be a black girl. We all know the struggles of trying to climb only to be knocked down because of how you look or the lack of opportunity because know one thought enough of you to consider you.
“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.”
When Viola Davis said those words in her acceptance speech every black girl understood. When she thanked her fellow sisters in her field it, Kerry Washington, Megan Good, Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson they understood because they live it everyday. Viola could have said a different speech but the words she chose were intended not just for television, it was for the ears of every black girl out there. Our hearts were full, our black girl pride was activated, our crowns felt a little more secure because one of our sisters won and she acknowledged us. It makes us want to go harder, to be sharper, to read more, to study more, to dream more, to learn more, because we know it’s possible. Somewhere a black girls spirit was restored because of Viola’s speech, a little black girl felt beautiful because someone who looked just like her (hair and all) won the award she secretly wants to win. I was so happy for Viola because she deserved it, and because black girls everywhere deserved to win, and on Sunday we won big! Viola Davis is the first black woman to win an Emmy in that category. This lets us all know that we have a long way to go. It also gave black girls everywhere that extra push because we know that we can win, because Viola did.
Bonus: Regina King wins Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series or a Movie
Uzo Aduba Wins Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series