Viola Davis Makes A Very Powerful Speech At The Emmys

Viola Davis has made history by becoming the first African-American woman to win the Emmy Award for best actress in a drama series.

The 50-year-old received the gong for her starring role as law school professor Annalise Keating in ABC series How to Get Away With Murder last night, giving an emotional speech as she accepted the prize.

There’s no denying that she *totally* stole the show, despite Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm finally getting honoured after being nominated 16 times and Game Of Thrones breaking the Emmy record with 12 nods.

> Viola Davis was awarded the gong for best actress in a drama series


Viola quoted civil rights activist Harriet Tubman in her speech, saying: ‘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.’

> Viola Davis gets glammed up before the ceremony


She then continued: ‘The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.

Viola went on to thank series creator Peter Nowalk, executive producer Shonda Rhimes and others, calling them ‘people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black.’

See: Did Sarah Hyland Bring Something Odd To The Emmys?

She also name-checked several of her black peers, including fellow nominees Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson. Both were visibly tearful as Viola spoke on stage.

> Taraji P. Henson and Kerry Washington react to Viola Davis’s speech. Twitter: @TVLine


Another prominent African-American female winner on the night was Uzo Aduba, who took home the best supporting actress in a drama trophy for Orange Is The New Black.

Veteran actress Regina King also won an Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie for her role on ABC’s American Crime.