Black women shined as the Television Academy celebrated the 74th Emmy Awards, recognizing excellence in television programming and individual achievement for the 2021-2022 television season.
After a long and storied career, Jamaican-American actress Sheryl Lee Ralph won her first Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series, for her role in Abbott Elementary.
At the start of her acceptance speech, Ralph sang a rendition of Dianne Reeves’ Endangered Species.
“I am an endangered species,” she sang. “But I sing no victim song. I am a woman, I am an artist, and I know where my voice belongs.”
Ralph became the second Black woman in history (Jackée Harry was the first) to win the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
The show’s creator, Quinta Brunson won outstanding writing for a comedy series for the show’s pilot.
To give her acceptance speech, Brunson was forced to step over Jimmy Kimmel who was laying on the ground performing an ill-timed comedy bit.
“I want to say thank you to ABC, to Disney, to Fox and to Warner Bros. It takes that many people to make a television show.”
She also thanked her Co-show runners for “…believing in a story from 4 years ago and thinking that it would make a good tv show.”
The actress, Zendaya made Emmy history again as she became the youngest Black woman to win outstanding lead actress in a drama series two years in a row for her role as troubled teen Rue Bennett in HBO’s hit Euphoria.
“My greatest wish for Euphoria was that it could help heal people and I just want to say thank you to everyone who has shared their story with me,” she said. “I want you to know that anyone who has loved a Rue or feels like they are Rue, I want you to know that I’m so grateful for your stories and I carry them with me, and I carry them with her.”
Lizzos show, Watch out for the Big Grrls took home an Emmy for Outstanding Competition Program.
“When I was a little girl all I wanted to see is me in the media,” she said. “Someone fat like me, Black like me, beautiful like me. “If I could go back [in time what I would] tell Little Lizzo is ‘you gonna’ see that person but b***h it’s gonna’ have to be you!”
The 74th Emmy Awards was broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles on the NBC Television Network, hosted by Kenan Thompson
Additionally, EGOT winner John Legend performed “Pieces” off his new album LEGEND for the “in memoriam” segment of the show.