Sunday night’s Emmy Awards saw two major wins for Black Hollywood, with Atlanta creator and star Donald Glover and TV writer Lena Waithe making history.
Waithe’s Emmy win for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series made her the first African-American woman to do so, while Glover became the first African-American director to win for Best Directing in Comedy Series.
Glover also won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, only the second African American to accomplish this feat following Robert Guillaume’s 1985 win for his role in TV series Benson.
Waithe, alongside co-writer Aziz Ansari, took home the Emmy for the “Thanksgiving” episode of the Netflix series, Master of None. The episode, which stars Angela Bassett and Kym Whitley, tells the story of a young, Black lesbian woman (played by Waithe) whose mother (Bassett) struggles to accept her sexuality.
While accepting her award, Waithe says the story was loosely based on her mother’s real life story.
“I want to thank my mother for inspiring the story and allowing me to share it with the world. I love you Ma,” the Chicago native said.
She also used the historical moment to shine a spotlight on the LGBTQIA community. “I see each and everyone of you. The things that make us different..those are your superpowers. Everyday when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and conquer the world. because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we were not in it.”
— Shadow And Act (@shadowandact) September 18, 2017
For his Lead Actor win, Glover jokingly thanked President Donald Trump for “making Black people number one on the most oppressed list.”
“He’s probably the reason I’m up here,” he added.
.@donaldglover‘s acceptance speech for Best Actor in a Comedy Series
— Complex Pop Culture (@ComplexPop) September 18, 2017
Other notable wins were Sterling K. Brown for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, whose acceptance speech was awkwardly cut off.
As for the disappointing losses, Viola Davis was beat out by Elisabeth Moss (The Handmade’s Tale) for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, while Black-ish stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson failed to win in their categories for Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series.