Black women winning at the 2022 Emmys is more than just a monumental moment in Hollywood

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By Char Adams, NBC News

The 2022 Emmys is helping to set a precedent that Black creatives no longer have to be considered the first in their respective fields.

US writer Quinta Brunson accepts the award for Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series for “Abbott Elementary” during the 74th Emmy Awards. (Patrick T. Fallon / AFP – Getty Images)

Sheryl Lee RalphQuinta BrunsonLizzo and Zendaya dominated the 2022 Emmys, making the biggest night in television a historic moment for Black women in TV.

Ralph, a Hollywood legend with a career spanning more than 40 years, took home her first Emmy on Monday. At 32, Brunson made history by being the youngest Black woman nominated for an award in the comedy acting category. She’s also the second Black woman in the Emmys’ 74-year history to win the award for outstanding writing for a comedy series. 

Meanwhile, Grammy award winner Lizzo took home the award for outstanding competition program, and Zendaya snagged her second Emmy for best actress in a drama series. Adrien Sebro, an assistant professor of media studies at the University of Texas at Austin, says the wins aren’t just noteworthy for Black people in entertainment; they’re pivotal for progress in the field. 

“With the success of these shows, it opens the reality to networks that Black women and Blackness is marketable,” Serbo said. “This will lead the way to more Black writers, more Black actresses on writers, sitcoms, reality series and competition series, as well. This leads to more spaces of Black creative possibility.” 

Adams makes a compelling argument about the significance of these wins.

If you haven’t checked out these winners’ projects, why not? You can start with Abbott Elementary, which Brunson knew America was ready for.

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