Jillian Smith | Staff Writer
On September 20, history was made as Viola Davis became the first African-American woman to take home an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
Davis won for her role in “How to Get Away With Murder,” an ABC drama in which she plays Annalise Keating, a brilliant criminal defense lawyer and professor.
This was a major stride for African-American women, considering that the only other black woman to receive an Emmy for leading actress was Isabel Sanford in 1981. She won for her role in the comedy series “The Jeffersons.”
While many more doors have been opened for black women in film, television has been a different battle considering the lack of leading roles available.
“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity,” Davis said during her speech. “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So, here’s to all the writers, the awesome people…People who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black.”
To you Viola, we say congratulations, and thank you. Thank you for breaking down one more barrier and opening one more door, allowing a new light to shine on our culture.