Last night, Viola Davis made history by becoming the first African American to win the award for best actress in a drama series. In her acceptance speech, the How to Get Away with Murder actress delivered a stirring message on diversity and the lack of opportunity women of color face in Hollywood.
“In my dreams, I see a line,” an emotional Davis said. “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 seem to get over that line.”
“That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. Let me tell you something—the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You can not win an Emmy for roles that simply are not there.”
Both her historic win and speech were met with congratulations on social media:
OMG!!! I’m floored… and proud and crying… VIOLA VIOLA VIOLA!!! Thank you for letting us share your shine!!! Man… tears
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) September 21, 2015
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) September 21, 2015
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) September 21, 2015