Monday, September 21, 2015

Black Women Win at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards


This happened.

This happened.

And this happened.

Just take a minute and bask in all of that glorious dark skinned Black womanness. Isn't it awesome.

Just three years ago the interwebs were all a buzz for the premier of Scandal. The Shonda Rhimes juggernaut that made history when it became the first show on network television to be lead by a Black woman in nearly 40 years. Now the interwebs are buzzing again about Viola Davis's big win. Another first for Black people, and Black women especially, in an era when most Black folks thought we'd be done making our firsts.

It's because of Scandal that How to Get Away with Murder came into fruition. It's because of Shonda Rhimes' refusal to white-wash the real world that Kerry Washington and Viola Davis, along with the ensemble cast of Grey's Anatomay which includes the ever-enchanting Chandra Wilson, own ABC's Thursday night line up. It's because of them that we are now seeing a crush of network shows, dramas and comedies alike, with a bevy of Beautiful Black faces.

Networks pounced on the Scandal trend last year with Empire and The Red Band Society on FOX, black-ish on ABC, and State of Affairs on NBC. This year the trend continues with FOX debuting Scream Queens with KeKe Palmer, Rosewood with Morris Chestnut and Minority Report with Megan Goode. NBC is going all in with Truth be Told, Game of Silence with Larenz Tate and Chicago Med starring S. Epatha Merkerson of Law & Order fame. Over on ABC Mike Epps' Uncle Buck is preparing to be released in addition to the premiere of Quantico which has a diverse ensemble cast.

All of this love on over the air channels is a marked difference from the days when Black folks had to get their color fix all on UPN and all on Monday night. That marriage of Black bodies in front of TV screens ended in a rude divorce for the teeny bopper hybrid network, The CW. The CW that abruptly ended Girlfriends before fans could see Joan finally get married. Yes, I'm still mad about that boo boo series finale. Reading a letter to a class that Aaron is coming home from war is not the same as  seeing Joan slay her way down the aisle in a gorgeous white dress in the wedding she's been planning since she was 9. But I digress.

The end of the union of Black viewers and UPN gave rise to some of the best and worst in entertainment. Specifically the rise of VH1 and it's shenanigan filled shows featuring baby mamas and jump-offs of B-list celebrity (and I use that term loosely) men, housewives who weren't always wives, and R&B Diva's who can't all sing. But in a refreshing twist of fate creators and viewers who craved more entertainment of substance ran to these interwebs and began making and watching what they wanted to see on YouTube. Before Netflix, Amazon and Hulu gave artists of color a chance in original programming only seen on a subscription basis YouTube was there. While color conscious and diverse shows flourished on TV One and Centric, and eventually BET, YouTube was available from the beginning to prove just how viable the African-American market is and will always be.

Now the networks have caught on to what cable channels and premiums channels have known all alone if you cast it, produce it, and program it we will give you a shot.

Last night that shot went from a shot in the dark straight into the history books.

Maybe, just maybe all Black everythang, as Mary Jane said, is media's zeigeist. From network television to the covers of major commercial magazines, Serena, Beyonce, Lupita, Misty I see you, Black women are finally winning. It feels good to see ourselves in the glow of Hollywood limelight.

Ladies and gentlemen I invite you to let it warm your skin. Soak up this media sun while it lasts.

Bask in it.

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