Viola Davis Talks About "Exhilarating" Emmys Win, Dedicates Her Award to "Any Black Woman Leading a Show"

How to Get Away With Murder actress tells E! News she plans to celebrate by "eating bread and dessert!"

By Zach Johnson Sep 21, 2015 7:00 PMTags
Watch: Viola Davis Talks Boundary-Breaking Emmy Win

So, how does it feel to make Emmys history?

"Exhilarating," How to Get Away With Murder's Viola Davis told E! News' Will Marfuggi after becoming the first black woman to win the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. In her powerful acceptance speech, Davis said, "'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. And let me tell you something, the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there." She thanked those who work behind the scenes—Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes and Ben Sherwood—as they all "redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading women, to be black."

Shortly after bringing the audience to its feet, Davis admitted to E! News, "In my mind I just wanted to give that Harriet Tubman quote and I would have been really good, because for me it says everything. It says everything about the lines that we have put out there in the world that really seemingly block people out without sometimes even realizing it. And it's about time that they're removed."

Empire's Taraji P. Henson, a fellow nominee in Davis' category, was one of the first people to give the actress a standing ovation. Scandal's Kerry Washington, who in 2013 was the first black woman to be nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 18 years, was moved to tears when Davis won the Emmy.

Watch: How Viola Davis Plans to Celebrate Major 2015 Emmy Win

"Taraji is a friend of mine," Davis, 50, told E! News of receiving support from Henson. "Taraji is my peer. We know the road. We know the road of lack of recognition, of people telling us that we can't headline a movie because black women don't translate overseas, that every time we try to break the glass ceiling, people say no, people push back. And it's everything that people don't see out there. Some people go to see movies; they're not making movies. So, we know what it's like on the other side. This is for her. This is for Kerry and for Gabrielle [Union] and Nicole Beharie—any black woman leading a show, really."

Davis said she planned to celebrate by "eating bread and dessert!"

"Eating bread in Hollywood is a no-no!" the actress said with a laugh.

To see what Queen Latifah thought of Davis' win, watch the video below:

Watch: Queen Latifah on Viola Davis Win: "Yes, My Sista"!