From Pail to Parlor: Hitting it out of the Park

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Viola Davis hit a double header at the 2015 Emmys, and she did it simultaneously, scoring one for gender and one for race. She breached the No Trespassing line that, as Matt Damon inadvertently admitted recently, filters out and designates the folks who rank in big-stakes media as both white and male. As millions watched, this Juilliard graduate took the best actress award for a leading role in a television series, and she is neither male nor blonde. Accused of being too hard and not pretty, such snipes may have hurt but they did not deflect her determination. She kept her eye focused inward, and scaled a historical summit. And she knew just who, from ages past, she wanted to share her spotlight.

Harriet Tubman was her choice.


Written for The Public Humanist, a blog by Mass Humanities.