Emmys 2015: Viola Davis on Her Historic Win: 'The Only Thing That Separates Women of Color from Anyone Else Is Opportunity'

The 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards aired live on Sept. 20 from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles


Viola Davis made history as the first black actress to take home an Emmy Award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series at this Sunday’s 67th Emmy Awards.

Her role as Professor Annalise Keating on How to Get Away With Murder earned her the win, and she received a standing ovation from the crowd after her emotional speech.

“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. I can’t seem to get there now. I cant seem to get over that line,” said Davis, quoting Harriet Tubman. “But let me tell you something, the only thing that separates women of color from anything else is opportunity.”

“You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. Here’s to all the writers, awesome people.”

Davis thanked other stars of color, including Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington, Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union and Meagan Good.

“People that have redefined what it means to be a beautiful, sexy, a leading women … To be black.”

The first-time Emmy nominee previously told PEOPLE: “I want to be in the story. I think I deserve to be in that story, and I believe my story deserves to be told.”

Davis was up against Taraji P. Henson for Empire, Claire Danes for Homeland, Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black, Elisabeth Moss for Mad Men and Robin Wright for House of Cards.

Adrien Brody presented the award at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

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Fox aired the 2015 Emmy Awards, hosted by Andy Samberg, live on Sept. 20.

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