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Viola Davis Makes History for Black Women at 2015 Emmys | First to Win ‘Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series’




Viola Davis made history at the 2015 Emmy Awards by becoming the first black woman to win in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category.

Just a few years back, Kerry Washington became the first black woman in nearly two decades to get a nomination in the category. She thanked other women who have paved the way, including Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, Nicole Beharie, and Meagan Good and quoted Harriet Tubman in her acceptance speech.

Watch the speech below.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian

Adesola is the BellaNaija Head of Content and Digital Ventures. She is a BN stan.. Yes, things are that serious for her when it comes to She's a lover of gist, novels, music, and food. She's constantly trying not to take life for granted. She spends most of her time either keeping up with the world on the Internet or sharing some acquired knowledge about digital media. She is passionate about using her voice to speak against injustice, especially towards women. To communicate with her directly, you can hit her up on: Instagram - Twitter - @Adesola_AU


  1. Marie Antoinette

    September 21, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Awesome! Well deserved! I would have dubbed the Emmys partial and a fraud if it hadn’t gone to Viola…

    And Jon Hamm! finally! What a way to end Mad Men! After endless years of being nominated…Kind of ‘save the best for last’ moment…

    • Amiee

      September 21, 2015 at 10:25 am

      I am very happy Viola won the award and she so deserves it however I beg to differ on your statement about the Emmys being partial if the award had not gone to her. If that award had gone to Tatiana Manslany of Orphan Black, it would have still been very well deserved. Have you seen Orphan Black? Tatiana plays like 20charcters in that TV show and each with a distinctive character. Its sometimes difficult to believe that one person plays Alyson, Cosima, Rachael, Sarah, Beth, Helena etc without batting an eyelid. Also Robin Wright of House of cards (she was phenomenal in season 3) and of course not forgetting Taraji’s Cookie in Empire.

      Also in the category for best supporting actress that Uzo Aduba won, it would have still been well deserved if Christine Baranski ( Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife) had won it. Same thing with best supporting actor that Peter Dinklage won, I would have still cheered if Alan Cumming (Eli Gold in TGW) had won. All in all, each category had a selection of great actors in outstanding TV series and all the winners deserve their awards.

    • Seun

      September 22, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      God bless u for this. I feel the same way about Tatiana maslany. She carried all the characters well. If she won its well deserve too. I appreciate all the pple in that category. So happy for Viola Davies and appreciate how she acknowledge her collegues.,that shows that women should start supporting women.

  2. Viv

    September 21, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Congratulations to her. What a beautiful speech and a well deserved win.

    She is so right, is it not for a lack of talent or ability that we don’t see beautiful black women of all different shapes, sizes and hues on our tv screens but a lack of opporunity. Shonda Rhimes really deserves her props for making us visible to the world in wonderful complex roles instead of one dimensional sterotypical roles.

    As a viewer, its a precious experience to see myself, my sisters, mother and aunties represented on the big and small screen so props to Ms Davis for crossing the finish line on behalf of us all.

    • ATL's finest

      September 21, 2015 at 8:36 am

      Yes, VIV u are very right.. I don’t care what anyone says, but jeez every black person who have won an award DESERVE more than that. I can never forget Halle Berry ‘s speech & tears when she won her very first Oscar. Shonda Rhimes is a Genius and I’m so thankful how she make these beautiful talented women the leading faces of these shows.

    • Mabel

      September 21, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      Yep. Shonda sure came in and just shook up the system. You remember a few years back you could hardly find black ppl on primetime tv? Now we have black women heading three major shows. Shonda really deserve a lot of props for getting the ball rolling.

      I stopped watching htgawm some episodes in, I think I will catch up and start watching it again. Got to do my part to keep my sisters paid and these shows on the air.

  3. ATL's finest

    September 21, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Way to GO lady!!! Black ✊, black is beauty!!! She’s BOLD, brainy, beautiful & oh U know team natural hair ROCKs… TGIT all my shows are returning 🙂

    • Butterfly

      September 21, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Yes! She looks sooo much better with her own hair. She looked cute and attractive on tv. Even this photo doesn’t do her justice, I don’t know perhaps she’s not photogenic and the weaves I’ve seen her in thus far, even on the series, haven’t brought out the best in her looks. I was surprised at her looks at the Emmys. And she has a fit body too, which also I hadn’t noticed before,plus, her dress was great, really stylish and was the right cut for her, showed off the toned arms and shoulders whilst the flare and elegant long length took away over-emphasis on the former which could have made her look too masculine. Looking forward to this win signaling the emergence of a new Viola Davis, from the chrysalis.

    • ATL's finest

      September 22, 2015 at 8:12 am

      @ Butterfly u are right. She need to pass all the weaves to Ms. Liv Pope while she sticks to her natural hair cuz it works better for her.

  4. beauty

    September 21, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Congrats. her face looks tensed though

  5. Prince

    September 21, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Congratulations to her but I would have prefer Taraji.

  6. Godsangel

    September 21, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    pls what site can i download mad men…

  7. Ada

    September 21, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Am I the only person who noticed how excited Taraji was for Viola? Like when she was announced n before she got on stage? She actually screamed! Now that’s support…real support not just for her fellow actress but also a woman of color like her… I’m so impressed! We should be out there supporting each other…Congrats on the Win Viola!!!! N to every nominee on the list…all of u are winners n luckily…I watch all the series…so y’all are great!

  8. notanutelllalover

    September 22, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    i was so excited for her. i also liked the speech she gave… had goosebumps while watching it. More grease, Miss Viola

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