Night of Firsts: Black Hollywood Makes History At the 2017 Emmys

The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards was a night full of firsts, specifically for black Hollywood. During the star-studded event, three black actors took the spotlight and made history in the process.

Actor and creator of FX’s hit show Atlanta, Donald Glover became the first black person to win Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series when he accepted the Emmy for the sixth episode of the show’s inaugural season, “B.A.N.” Glover made his directorial debut with that episode, before directing the seventh episode of the season as well. “This really belongs to Hiro Murai,” Glover said during his acceptance speech, referencing the series’ main director. “He taught me everything about directing. He had the eye for this show and he’s just amazing. I really want to give this to Hiro and just say, ‘I love you and thank you for being my best friend.'”

Glover also took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Earn on the show. The last black actor who received the Emmy for the category was Robert Guillaume for his work in the 1985 television series Benson. Glover, who also recently announced he’d be retiring his rap alter ego Childish Gambino, joked about Donald Trump during his speech.

“I want to thank Trump for making black people number one on the Most Oppressed list,” he said. “He’s probably the reason I’m up here.”

The second season of Atlanta has reportedly begun filming for the forthcoming season. However, the long-awaited series won’t return to small screens until 2018.

Master of None star and co-creator Lena Waithe made history when she took home an Emmy for co-writing the “Thanksgiving” episode for Netflix’s hit series – making her the first African American woman to win for comedy writing. The episode, which stars Angela Basset, tells the story of a young black lesbian (Waithe) who struggles with her sexuality and her mother (Basset) who has trouble accepting her daughter’s sexuality. During her speech, Waithe drew many emotions from the crowd as she thanks the LGBTQIA community and thanked her mother for inspiring the episode.

Along with Waithe and Glover, Sterling K. Brown took the spotlight after he received the award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series. The acclaimed actor was the first black actor to receive this award in nearly 20 years. The last to receive the award was Andre Braugher, who won for his role in the 1998 series Homicide: Life on the Street.

Brown received a standing ovation during his acceptance speech, as he thanked his wife and the cast of the show, This Is Us. After receiving the historic win, Brown was cut off during his acceptance speech by the awards show, sparking a social media outrage. In light of the historic event, Brown was able to finish his speech backstage as he continued to thank those who aided in his success.

Be sure to check out the full list of winners below.

Outstanding drama series

“Better Call Saul”
“The Crown”
“The Handmaid’s Tale” *WINNER
“House of Cards”
“Stranger Things”
“This Is Us”
“Westworld”

Outstanding comedy series

“Atlanta”
“Black-ish”
“Master of None”
“Modern Family”
“Silicon Valley”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
“Veep” *WINNER

Outstanding lead actor in a drama series

Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us” *WINNER
Anthony Hopkins, “Westworld”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”

Outstanding lead actress in a drama series

Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”
Claire Foy, “The Crown”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” *WINNER
Keri Russell, “The Americans”
Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series

Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
Ron Cephas Jonas, “This Is Us”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”
John Lithgow , “The Crown” * WINNER
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
Jeffrey Wright , “Westworld”

Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series

Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale” *WINNER
Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black”
Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
Chrissy Metz , “This Is Us”
Thandie Newton, “Westworld”

Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series

Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
Zach Galifianakis, “Baskets”
Donald Glover, “Atlanta” *WINNER
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series

Pamela Adlon, “Better Things”
Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” *WINNER
Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series

Louie Anderson, “Baskets”
Alec Baldwin, “Saturday Night Live” *WINNER
Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Tony Hale, “Veep”
Matt Walsh, “Veep”

Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series

Vanessa Bayer, “Saturday Night Live”
Leslie Jones, “Saturday Night Live”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” *WINNER
Kathryn Hahn, “Transparent”
Judith Light, “Transparent”
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

Outstanding limited series

“Big Little Lies” *WINNER
“Fargo”
“Feud: Bette and Joan”
“The Night Of”
“Genius”

Outstanding lead actor in a limited series

Riz Ahmed, “The Night Of” *WINNER
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: The Lying Detective”
Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”
Ewan McGregor, “Fargo”
Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”
John Turturro, “The Night Of”

Outstanding lead actress in a limited series

Carrie Coon, “Fargo”
Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies” *WINNER
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”

Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie

Judy Davis, “Feud: Bette and Joan
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies” *WINNER
Jackie Hoffman ,”Feud: Bette and Joan”
Michelle Pfeiffer, “The Wizard of Lies”
Shailene Woodley, “Big Little Lies”

Outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or movie

Bill Camp, “The Night Of”
Alfred Molina, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies” *WINNER
David Thewlis, “Fargo”
Stanley Tucci, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Michael Kenneth Williams, “The Night Of”

Outstanding variety talk series

“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” *WINNER
“The Late Late Show With James Corden”
“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”
“Real Time With Bill Maher”

Outstanding reality-competition program

“The Amazing Race”
“American Ninja Warrior”
“Project Runway”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race”
“Top Chef”
“The Voice” *WINNER

Outstanding directing for a comedy series

Jamie Babbit, “Silicon Valley”
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”*WINNER
Mike Judge, “Silicon Valley”
David Mandel, “Veep”
Morgan Sackett, “Veep”
Dale Stern, “Veep”

Outstanding writing for a drama series

The Duffer Brothers, “Stranger Things”
Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, “Westworld”
Peter Morgan, “The Crown”
Bruce Miller, “The Handmaid’s Tale” *WINNER
Gordon Smith, “Better Call Saul”
Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, “The Americans”

Outstanding writing for a comedy series

Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, “Master of None”*WINNER
Alec Berg, “Silicon Valley”
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
Stephen Glover, “Atlanta”
Billy Kimball, “Veep”
David Mandel, “Veep”

Outstanding directing for a drama series

Stephen Daldry, “The Crown”
Kate Dennis, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
The Duffer Brothers, “Stranger Things”
Vince Gilligan, “Better Call Saul”
Lesli Linka Glatter, “Homeland”
Reed Morano, “The Handmaid’s Tale” *WINNER
Jonathan Nolan, “Westworld”

Photo Credit: Lena Waithe/Instagram