Viola Davis Makes History With Emmy Win

'The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2015 11:12 PM CDT
Updated Sep 21, 2015 6:26 AM CDT
Viola Davis First Lead Black Actress to Win for Drama
Viola Davis accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for “How to Get Away With Murder”at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards tonight at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The most moving (and historic) moment of Sunday's Emmys came when Viola Davis became the first African-American to win for lead actress in a drama series for her role in ABC's How to Get Away With Murder, Entertainment Weekly reports. "'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," she started off in her emotional acceptance speech, which had fellow nominee Taraji P. Henson on her feet applauding.

"And let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity," she continued. "You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So here's to all the writers, the awesome 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 ... to Gabrielle Union—thank you for taking us over that line." (Read the list of other winners here.)

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