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Watch: Viola Davis Emmy Speech After Becoming First African-American Actress to Win

Web ExclusiveSeptember 21, 2015
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Viola Davis has made history, becoming the first African American to win an Emmy Award for best lead actress on a drama series for her role as a defense attorney in the series “How to Get Away with Murder.”

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

Viola Davis: “'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. And let me tell you something: 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 and Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goods, to Gabrielle Union. Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you for the Television Academy. Thank you.”

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