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Black Women Win Top Honors in Best Actress and Supporting Categories Across Awards Circuit

Elgin Nelson

Awards season is in full swing, and Black women are taking center stage in recognizing the best in television and film. The 75th Primetime Emmy Awards, which hit a record low in viewership, saw Quinta Brunson, writer, creator & star of the hit show Abbott Elementary, become the first Black woman in over 40 years to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. 

Brunson becomes the second Black actress in history to win this award behind Isabel Sanford, who took home the Emmy in 1981 for her role in “The Jeffersons.”

“I am so happy to be able to live my dream and act out comedy,” Brunson said in her acceptance speech Monday night. “I love my mom, my dad, my sisters, my brothers, my entire family so much. I love my husband. I’m so happy. I love my cast. I love ‘Abbott Elementary.’ Thank you so much.”

Ayo Ediberi, the actress who stars on FX’s The Bear, swept this entire award season, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, and a Critics Choice Award for the same title. Her role in ‘The Bear’ follows an ambitious sous chef looking to help run a restaurant alongside her boss, Carmy, played by Jeremy Allan White, who also won the same awards this year in the Best Actor category.

“Yeah, I’m really, really grateful. If I forgot to thank you, I’m sorry, unless you were mean or something— and thank you to the people who answer my emails, you’re the real ones,” Ediberi said in her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes.

The Boston native is experiencing a meteoric rise after writing for award-winning television series like “Big Mouth” and “What We Do in the Shadows.”

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, known for her recent role as Mary Lamb in the Golden Globe-winning film The Holdovers, has also swept this entire circuit, winning Best Supporting Actress in a Film at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. The seasoned actress is now the clear frontrunner to win the Oscar this year. 

“To play a woman that is so many things, to see themselves as a gift—I want to have a moment to thank the incredible woman in my life who have made me the artist I am today,” Randolph said at the Critics Choice Awards ceremony. 

Randolph has been nominated for a Tony Award in 2012 for her performance in “Ghost: The Musical.” Since, she appeared in roles from “Dolemite Is My Name,” “High Fidelity” and “Only Murders in the Building” to “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” and this year’s “Rustin,” where she sings as Mahalia Jackson at the March on Washington.

Other milestones this year include Niecy Nash-Betts winning Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role in the Netflix series Monster: The Jeffery Dahamer. Also, Cord Jefferson, a Black writer and director who won Best Adapted Screenplay for his latest film, American Fiction, is set to become a major Oscar contender this year. 

Tune into the 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 24th, the final award show before the 96th Oscars premiere on March 10th.

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