(Auntie in my head) Viola Davis is one of my favorite actresses. I adore how she gives familiarity to every character she plays. I wanted to be her in How To Get Away With Murder, I despised her in Suicide Squad and I cried with her in The Help. She is amazing and greatly humbled in her position in Hollywood. She effortlessly juggles between using her platform to defend and support the arts and encourage people of color to strive in the face of doubt. This year she became the first black actor/actress to earn an Emmy, Tony, and Oscar and she is the most nominated black actress in history. On top of that, she strolled over to Harvard University to accept their artist of the year award. Can’t stop, won’t stop. While this may seem like I’m having a fangirl moment for her (I definitely am), I wanted to bring attention to the fact that black women are winning right now. In a MAJOR way.
Issa Rae, Beyonce (Adele still owes her an award), Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Luvvie Ajayi, Rihanna (The Recording Academy still owes her awards for Work), Cardi B, Shonda Rhimes, Jackie Aina, Aja Naomi King, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae, Elaine Welteroth and numerous other black women (famous or not) are out here killing it in their field and smashing through glass ceilings. Women that look like me and the black girls/black women I grew up with and love. They get up every day and fight against a society that isn’t necessarily built to benefit black people, let alone black women. They graciously accept praise while continuing to become history-making women who wholeheartedly support and uplift each other. That last part is what gets me every time. Seeing black women who are individually winning turn around and celebrate another black woman’s accomplishments is reassuring and needed. Taraji’s joy at award shows seeing her fellow black female peers succeed is a constant reminder that while we can storm the scene and collect all the awards by ourselves, it’s also fun when you also get to cheer on your homegirl who is getting the awards she’s worked hard for. I’m not tired of seeing black women win separately or together. I doubt I will ever grow tired of seeing all that melanin winning. It’s motivation and inspiration!