Why Last Night’s Emmy’s Was So Important for Black Women

Black girl magic was in full effect last night at the Emmy’s!

My edges were completely snatched last night. Black women were slaying the game last night and took White Hollywood by storm.

Uzo Aduba took home an Emmy for ‘outstanding supporting actress.’ Regina King took the Emmy for ‘outstanding supporting actress in a limited series’ and Viola Davis became the first black woman to win an Emmy for ‘best leading actress in a drama series.’

So many moments last night gave me chills and almost moved me to tears. Black sisterhood was so evident on that stage last night. One of my favorite moments was Taraji P. Henson’s reaction to Regina King winning. King was met with a warm sista hug from Henson as soon as she stepped on the stage. Taraji even let out a loud “YAYYYYY!!” and eager applause as Regina made her way to the mic to give her acceptance speech.

Even when Viola Davis won and was on her way to the stage, she made a beeline for Taraji in the audience and shared a warm hug. It wasn’t just a congratulatory hug. It was a “I know your struggle” hug. That whole shot of Taraji and Viola hugging was so significant. In the middle you have these two emotional black women sharing such a powerful moment of unity and around them… you have all these stale faced white people giving Viola a lazy applause. You would’ve never known that this woman had just broke history by the bored faces of the audience. Viola needed Taraji in that moment and Taraji was right there, arms wide open.

Their bond showed how important it is for black women to support each other. It showed how, at the end of the day, for black women, all we have is each other and we need to cherish one another.

Even with Uzo’s speech, she took the time out to give a heart-wrenching dedication to her actual sister who was in the audience. Both women were in tears. That moment gave me goosebumps and reminded me of me and my own sister’s bond. No matter what, black sisterhood stands strong and unmoved. Black sisterhood conquers all.

And mannnn, Viola’s acceptance speech cleared my skin and evened out my complexion. Viola took us to church. She even quoted Harriet Tubman. Some key lines that stood out in her speech, for me, were:

“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.”

And don’t forget:

“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, 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, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goods, to Gabrielle Union, thank you for taking us over that line.”

Oh girl… I lived! What I love about Viola Davis is that she’s unapologetically black and she has no shame in reminding White Hollywood that she is, indeed, black and they can not white wash her. She also never leaves other black women hanging. While she’s on her platform, she still amplifies other black women’s voices. She doesn’t get to the top and just forget about the women who look like her and are still struggling like she did. Her speech was so compelling and so relevant for other black actresses. Every black actress from Taraji to Kerry Washington were in tears. My admiration for Viola Davis grew even deeper.

Her speech was even more profound because she did it with her natural hair sitting big and proud on top of her head and her dark skin glowing in the light–two features that she’s been mocked for. Two features that black women are dehumanized for having.

And then on top of that, can we talk about Ava Duvernay directing Apple’s new music ads?! And then to make it even more sweeter she features other black women in the commercial such as Taraji P. Henson, Mary J. Blige, and Kerry Washington having a good time, laughing and dancing around. It’s so reassuring to see black women have some sort of joy and happiness because people work so hard to deny black women joy and happiness.

The Emmy’s last night reminded me of how important representation in the media is. I know young black girls watched these amazing black women take home these awards and thought to themselves “You know what? I can do that too?” It’s reassuring to have women who look like you making major moves for the world to see. I know I, myself, was inspired by last night. It just makes me want to push harder to get to my dreams.

Last night was simply just a reminder that black girls DO rock and black girls will ALWAYS be magical.

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