|Regina King now joins an exclusive club of Emmy winning African American actresses.|
A Primetime Emmy nomination is a godsend and to win the actual thing is a small yet vital showing of progress. For the past four years, King has received four consecutive nods-- three for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for American Crime and one for Leading Actress in a Limited Series for Seven Seconds.
King--having won three of those four nominations-- is in an exclusive club. Rarely has an African American actress won one Emmy, let alone two and three for her acting efforts. So far, Alfre Woodward has four wins out of seventeen nominations and Cicely Tyson has three wins out of fourteen nominations.
Not to discount King's Black Reel or NAACP Image awards and nominations-- those triumphs are significant and valid. However, the Emmys falsely presented themselves as inclusive after the historic nominations were announced last month. During the ceremony itself, "diversity" jokes were sprinkled throughout. King was the first black winner of the night.
|"Thank you for creating an opportunity to tell a story and hold a mirror up to what's going on today," King says in her 2018 Emmys acceptance speech.|
When Issa Rae answered, "I'm rooting for everybody black," before last year's ceremony, the white people were on a rampage. Defensive white social media jumped into people's commentary with typical "why make this about race" statements, personally offended by accurate observational assessments. This gaslighting mechanism is designed to keep African Americans silent about what matters during the watching of award shows-- winners representing reflections of themselves. We're at a time now that speaking up for talented actresses and actors. History suggests that African Americans deserve more than to dress up and present to white people. Viewers, especially to those who are avid champions of the nominees, want to see a real change. It obviously doesn't end on the nominations, it ends on the stage with that statuette.
For King, an outstanding actress for decades, a versatile player from dead serious pensive acting to hilarious comedic chops, is worth applauding. With an upcoming turn in Barry Jenkins' adaptation of James Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk, here is hoping that the Oscars will knock on her triumphant door soon.