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Jackée Harry Celebrates Sheryl Lee Ralph's Emmy Win In Powerful Thread 35 Years After Winning For '227'

Jackée Harry Celebrates Sheryl Lee Ralph's Emmy Win In Powerful Thread 35 Years After Winning For '227'
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images; Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images

Television's enjoyed its biggest night yesterday as the 74th annual Emmy Awards got under way at Los Angeles' Microsoft Theater, and one moment from the ceremony will be memorable for years to come.

After a career that has spanned five decades, screen and state veteran Sheryl Lee Ralph won her first Emmy for her performance as kindergarten teacher Barbara Howard in the hit ABC comedy Abbott Elementary,a moment that had nearly everyone in the theater leaping to their feet to cheer.

Ralph's win was not just momentous but historic, as she is only the second Black woman to win the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy award in Emmys history after Jackée Harry's 1987 win for 227.

To mark the occasion, Harry took to Twitter to honor her colleague and put her big win in context, and it's got everyone cheering for Ralph all over again.

See her tribute below.


Harry wrote:

"Winning my Emmy was a career highlight, but it was also a lonely experience."
"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"

Harry went on to tell of how she narrowly landed her role as the oversexed Sandra on 227 after it very nearly went to the network's pick: Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Harry then told of going on to win the Emmy for the role, and expressed her joy at now being able to share the honor with Ralph. She wrote:

"Now, Sheryl joins me as the 2nd black woman in this category and deservedly so! 🎉 I’m so exited for her #Emmys win!"

Harry closed her thread with a moving tribute to Ralph's legendary status in the entertainment industry.

On Twitter, people were deeply moved by Harry's thread, and shocked to learn the historic nature of Ralph's win.



And there has been an outpouring of love for Ralph herself, especially after her incredibly moving barnstormer of an acceptance speech last night.


Ralph rose to prominence in 1981 when she originated the role of Deena Jones in Dreamgirls on Broadway alongside fellow legends Jennifer Holliday and Loretta Devine.

Not only was last night's win her first, it was also her first-ever Emmy nomination after a television career that began in the 1970s, a "long time coming" pedigree she referenced in her speech:

“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 striving looks like. And don’t you ever, ever give up on you.”

Solid advice from a legend who knows.