Viola Davis made history and spoke out about inequality in her stirring Emmy acceptance speech.

At the 2015 Emmy Awards, Viola Davis made history by taking home the award for best actress in a drama series.

The "How to Get Away with Murder" star became the first black woman to win best actress in a drama and used the opportunity to speak out about inequality in Hollywood.


She began by quoting Harriet Tubman.


"'In my mind I see a line, and over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line, but I can't seem to get there no how,'" she began her speech. "'I can't seem to get over that line.' That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s."

"The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity."

Her next words extend far beyond the world of acting, pointing to an issue affecting women of color in all fields: opportunity. For many, it's simply not there.

GIFs from the 67th annual Emmy Awards.

And she's right. History shows that women of color simply don't get the types of opportunities white women do.

New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum pointed out that before 2012, it had been decades since a black woman starred as the lead in a network TV drama.


Davis closed with a nod to writers and others who push back on stereotypes and beauty standards.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

The speech was quickly hailed as one of the best in recent awards show history.

Celebrities like Oprah weighed in.

Joining her were women like "Scandal" star Kerry Washington,

"Selma" director Ava DuVernay,


and "Scandal," "How to Get Away with Murder," and "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes.


Congratulations, Viola Davis!

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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