"How to Get Away With Murder," marking her first Emmy win (also her first nomination) and the first win for an African-American woman in the lead drama actress category. Viola and fellow nominee "Empire" were the first African-Americans to be nominated in that category in the same year.
In accepting her award, Viola didn't read from a script, but her speech seemed prepared for the historic moment:
'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 nohow. 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..."
She closed with shout-outs to her peers, including producer Shonda Rhimes and actresses Taraji, Kerry Washington, and Halle Berry. "Thank you for taking us over that line."
Watch the full speech:
Beautiful. Congrats, Viola! Here's the full list of winners.
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