Fellow Emmy Winner Jackeé Harris Explains Why Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Victory Is More Full-Circle Than We Think

It’s no wonder that Sheryl Lee Ralph makes up one of the three original Dream Girls… her ability to never stop dreaming just landed the esteemed actress her very first Emmy!

On Monday (Sept. 12), Ralph joined Jackeé Harry as the second Black woman to receive an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. For 35 long years, Harry says she held down the position… but it turned out to be a lonely one.

“Winning my Emmy was a career highlight, but it was also a lonely experience,” said Harry.

Now, Ralph joins her thanks to her role in Abbott Elementary as Barbara Howard, the beloved Kindergarten teacher featured in the ABC “mokumentary” sitcom that showcases the lives of passionate teachers in an extremely underfunded Philadelphia public school.

With tears in her eyes, Ralph took the stage and burst out in song with a powerful delivery of “Endangered Species” by Dianne Reeves. “I am a woman, I am an artist/ And I know where my voice belongs,” crooned the 66-year-old before delivering one of the most empowering Emmy speeches of all-time.

“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,” Ralph declared while victorious pumping her fist in the air. “This is what striving looks like!”


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Ralph is even proof that a dream delayed doesn’t always equate to a dream deferred. In fact, Harry revealed that her fellow acting sister was actually originally supposed to play her role as Sandra Clark in the renowned sitcom, “227.” It is the same one that helped Harry to make Emmy history.

“The network originally wanted @thesherylralph to play Sandra on ‘227,’ but I got the part and won an Emmy for it,” wrote Harry via Twitter. “Now Sheryl joins me as the 2nd Black woman in this category and deservedly so. I’m so excited for her Emmys win!”

From Mama Dee in “Moesha” to Florence Watson in “Sister Act 2,” Ralph has breathed life into some of the most captivating characters. In addition to that, she nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical thanks to her breakout role as Deena Jones in the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls.”

Check out the outpouring of love for Sheryl Lee Ralph following last night’s Emmys.




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