Tracee Ellis Ross is the first Black actress in 30 years to receive an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Leading Actress in a comedy. This is also her first Emmy nomination ever. Phylicia Rashad was the last Black woman to be nominated in the this category prior to Tracee.
Tracee told ABC, “At this age, at this point in my career, to be a first-time nominee is extraordinary. To be nominated on behalf of a show that I am so proud of.”
Whilst we’re celebrating Tracee’s monumental and historical achievement, here’s a brief list with some recent Emmy nominations & wins for Black women.
We were all left speechless when Viola Davis delivered her powerful speech at the 2015 Emmys. She spoke briefly about the struggles women of color, specifically Black women endures. At the start of her speech she quoted Harriet Tubman, 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.” Viola won the Emmy for Best Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series and is the first Black woman to win this award.
“I waited 20 years for this. You gonna wait!” are the infamous words said by Taraji after being rushed by the Emmy producers to conclude her acceptance speech. Henson won the Emmy for Best Actress in a TV Drama for her well-received role as Cookie Lyons in the FOX hit drama Empire.
Orange is the New Black actress, Uzo Abuda, became the first woman to win both a drama and a comedy award at the Emmys after taking home the Best Actress in a Drama Series award at the 2015 Emmys.