Last night was an amazing time to be a Black woman, or woman of color in general. Not one, or two, but three Black women walked away with awards. One of them, even made history by being the first African American woman to win in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category. All of them are on shows that have reach far beyond multi-cultural audiences.
In a world where we’ve fought so hard to have a seat at the table, it feels good to be able to show what happens when we have those seats. During her speech, Viola Davis said, The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is simply opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”
This speech received a standing ovation from the crowd and has been quoted by several media outlets, blogs (including mine now) and shared across social media by several proud viewers. Most of us are not only proud because Viola truly deserves it, or because we watch her show, but because she represents all of us and our daughters. She represents every woman and girl of color who wants an opportunity to be excellent.
We often complain about the representation of our women on TV, and even if some don’t agree with the roles, their presence is hard to ignore. For Taraji and Viola to be nominated in the same category, and one of them take it home, speaks volumes. It says we’ve truly come a long way, and although we still have far to go, it gives us a little more hope.
Women in entertainment aren’t the only ones displaying #BlackGirlMagic either. Just a few months ago the world was cheering on the Mayor of Baltimore and lead prosecutor, two Black women in powerful positions. Their city was and still is under fire, but those two women handle it well. Them, and countless others like them are getting the opportunities that men and women of the past fought so hard for. I want my daughter to grow up knowing that she can be anything she wants to be, that she can accomplish whatever she puts her mind to. We all should want that for our daughters.
I’m doing the best I can to be a great role model for her myself, and will make sure she knows of all of the great things other women of color have accomplished to pave the way for her. She’s only three now, but this moment in history means so much for her already.