Sheryl Lee Ralph's Emmys Acceptance Speech Should Be Nominated for an Emmy

She made history tonight.

When she came to the stage to accept her Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, Sheryl Lee Ralph decided to take viewers to church. As she sang a gospel tune at the mic, she also made history as the second Black winner in the category, ever. The last time was back in 1987, when Jackee Harry took home the award for her role in 227. Lee Ralph won for her role in Abbott Elementary.

Speaking on being in the entertainment industry for decades, she told viewers to continue to chase their dreams. Lee Ralph's previous credits include roles in Sister Act 2, Moesha, Disney's Oliver & Company, Designing Women, Claws, and more.

Sheryl Lee Ralph Emmys 2022
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Her performance of Dianne Reeve's "Endangered Species" earned her a standing ovation from the crowd.

"To anyone who has ever, ever had a dream and thought your dream wasn't, wouldn't, couldn't come true, I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like — this is what striking looks like," she said after she sang. "And don't you ever, ever give up on you, because if you get a Quinta Brunson in your corner, if you get a husband like mine in your corner, if you get children like mine in my corner, and if you've got friends like everybody who voted for me, cheered for me, loved me, thank you, thank you, thank you."

Lee Ralph's co-star, Quinta Brunson, is also nominated tonight for her role in Abbott Elementary, as well as writing. The show is nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.

After her performance and speech, Lee Ralph earned recognition from Harry, who posted her congratulations on Twitter.

"Winning my Emmy was a career highlight, but it was also a lonely experience," Harry wrote. "For 35 years I've been the only black woman to win Outstanding Supporting Actresses in a Comedy Series. But that all changes tonight … and it's come full circle! #Emmys."

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