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Viola Davis used a Harriet Tubman quote from the 1800s to deliver an incredible speech after she made history at the Emmys

Published by Business Insider on Mon, 21 Sep 2015


Viola Davis just became the first black woman ever to win the Outstanding Drama Actress Emmy on Sunday.With her first nomination for ABC and Shonda Rhimes series "How to Get Away With Murder," the starhad made history.The emotional actressstarted with a remarkably timeless quote."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," she said. "And let me tell you something, the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You can not win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there."Although it took beating Taraji P. Henson, who's starring in the most successful TV drama in years, and network mate Kerry Washington had been vying for the honor for the previous two years with her lead role Rhimes' "Scandal," Davis thanked them and other black actresses for helping to "get over that line."Critics believed that Davis' film work and two Oscar nominationsgave her the kind of background that would help to cinch the award."Homeland's" Claire Danes, "House of Cards" star Robin Wright, "Mad Men" actress Elisabeth Moss, and "Orphan Black" star Tatiana Maslany were also nominated in the Outstanding Drama Actress category.Join the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: The most expensive and extravagant vacations in the world
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