2nd Annual Women In Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail PartyThere was lots to cheer about and lots to jeer about with the announcement of the 2015 Emmy nominations Thursday, and tucked in among the usual snubs and surprises was a bit of history surrounding the nods for Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson.

The actresses, who are both up for the Best Leading Actress award in the drama category for "How to Get Away with Murder" and "Empire," respectively, are now the first two African-Americans to be nominated in that category in the same year. That bit of trivia aside, both Davis and Henson could make even more history during the ceremony should one of them snag the statuette.

According to TheWrap, an African-American has never won that particular award at the Emmys, and the likelihood of women of color even getting a nomination in that category has, sadly, been even more remote. The trade traces that stat's origins back to 1982, when Debbie Allen landed a nomination for "Fame," becoming the first-ever African-American woman to earn a Best Dramatic Actress nod.

Before Davis and Henson, "Scandal" star Kerry Washington was the most recent African-American woman recognized by the Television Academy on the Best Dramatic Actress slate, earning her first nomination in the category in 2013 (and another in 2014). But that was the first time in 18 years that a black woman was recognized in that category, following Cicely Tyson's nomination in 1995 for "Sweet Justice."

So while it seems that Davis and Henson have history against them, the very fact that they both earned nominations this year -- and already shattered one Emmy barrier -- seems to indicate that the tides are turning. Here's hoping that one of them can continue to break new ground when the Emmys air on September 20 on Fox.

[via: TheWrap]

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