Waithe makes history, gives ‘master’ speech at Emmys

The 69th Emmy Awards were filled with political zingers, anticipated wins and emotional acceptance speeches, but no speech was a masterful as the one from Lena Waithe.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the actor and writer on the Netflix comedy Master of None “made history when she won best writing for a comedy series at the Emmys Sunday night,” becoming the first African-American woman to earn the accolade. But after taking the stage to accept the award, Waithe’s speech was a hit parade of touching and inspiring moments.

Winning for the writing on the “Thanksgiving” episode, EW says Waithe first thanked her mother, as well as series creator Aziz Ansari. Once Waithe named girlfriend Alana Mayo, her speech took the most inspiring turn as she also thanked the “LGBTQIA community.”

“I see each and every one of you,” Waithe said, according to EW. “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is without us in it.”

Waithe closed her remarks by returning to her roots, says EW, thanking fans for making her dream, as well as that of Ansari, a reality.

“And to everybody out there who showed us so much love with this episode, thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago. We appreciate it more than you could ever know.”

And we appreciate Lena more than she knows. Congratulations!


Rihanna receives Humanitarian of the Year award

Make no mistake: Rihanna isn’t just a talented singer and fashion icon. She is also a major philanthropist, and now, Harvard University just made if official.

According to Glamour, the “Love on the Brain” singer stopped by the prestigious university in Cambridge, Mass. to receive the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year award on Tuesday, Feb. 28. In her acceptance speech, Glamour reports that Rihanna shared that she knew as a young child in Barbados that she wanted nothing more than to help others.

“I would say to myself, ‘You know, when I grow up, when I can get rich, [I’m going to] save kids all over the world,'” she said.

And she is certainly making a valiant effort: Glamour says she started her first charity, the Believe Foundation, at the age of 18 after striking success in the music industry, and from there, she went on to start the Clara Lionel Foundation, an organization named after her grandparents that supports and helps to fund “innovative and effective education and health programs around the world.”

Her speech also encouraged others to do what they can to make a difference around the world. Here are some of the highlights from Glamour’s reprinting of the speech:

I know that each and every one of you has the opportunity to help someone else. All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian.”

You don’t have to be rich to help somebody. You don’t gotta be famous. You don’t even have to be college-educated.”

“And today I want to challenge each of you to make a commitment to help one person: one organization, one situation that touches your heart. My grandmother always used to say, “If you’ve got a dollar, there’s plenty to share.”

Read Rihanna’s speech in its entirety here.

Nicole’s Favorites: TV Moments Edition

At every award show, there seems to be one speech that stands out among the others. And while every recipient is overcome with emotion when they’re accepting their awards, there was one actress at this year’s Emmy Awards who delivered a noteworthy acceptance speech.

Enter Viola Davis, who made history at the Sept. 20 award show by becoming the first African-American to win an Emmy for best actress in a drama. As if winning weren’t enough to seal her place in history, she proceeded to deliver perhaps one of the most touching and inspirational speeches not only of the night, but also in Emmys history.

The New York Times provided this transcript of her speech online:

Transcript via The New York Times.

Transcript via The New York Times.

Davis’ speech spoke to the importance of her winning the award, while also pointing out the trailblazers that have cleared a path for actresses like her to have a chance for success in the industry. She also acknowledged her fellow actresses who help to further the prospects of future generations of women and women of color.

There was no better way to cap off the Emmys than with this speech. And what was equally touching about her win was that when Davis’ name was called, her fellow nominees were just as excited for her as they would be if they had won. Couple this with her speech, and we are dealt two major takeaways from this one moment: that success is possible despite the restrictions societies and industries may place on women and women of color, and that it is more than possible for women to support their peers in their successes.

While we can watch award shows idly and comment on the fashion, it is a moment like this that makes award shows worth watching; here, we not only celebrate the success of a talented actress, but we received a speech that will inspire countless young women across the country and around the world to fearlessly and passionately pursue their dreams.

Somewhere, a little girl was watching Davis win that award. And what she saw was more than an actress in a pretty dress receiving a trophy — she saw a woman who has transcended barriers to achieve her dreams. She heard a speech that not only recognized the hurdles Davis overcame, she heard her graciously celebrate her peers.

She saw that dreams do come true, and Davis’s Emmys win may be just the thing that inspires this little girl to go after her own dreams without fearing societal barriers and racial or gender restrictions.

While Davis expressed her gratitude in her Emmys acceptance speech, we — the women of the world who watched with pride — want to thank you, Viola Davis, for being an inspiration to us all.