Viola Davis makes historic win and speech at Emmy's

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viola-davis-receives-a-kiss-on-the-cheek-from-her-husband-julius-tennon.jpgIn one of the most emotional moments from this year's Emmy Awards, Viola Davis gave an outstanding speech after becoming the first African-American woman to win the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a drama.

Davis, who plays powerful law professor Annalise Keating on ABC's hit series 'How to Get Away with Murder,' has already won a SAG Award for her performance on the show.

She was also previously nominated for a Golden Globe for the role in the Shonda Rhimes' executive produced series created by Peter Nowalk.

While accepting the prestigious award, Davis' powerful speech moved audience members, including actress Kerry Washington, to tears.

'In my dreams and visions, I seemed to see a line, and on the other side of that line were green fields, and lovely flowers, and beautiful white ladies, who stretched out their arms to me over the line, but I couldn't reach them no-how,' Davis said, quoting Harriet Tubman in her acceptance speech.

'Let me tell you something: the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.'

An emotional Davis continued by thanking the other actresses of color, including Washington, Halle Berry, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union and fellow nominee Taraji P. Henson.

'Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you to the Television Academy.' Davis, who is a graduate from the prestigious Juilliard School, concluded.

Her speech was a highlight from the show and also drew a standing ovation from Henson in the crowd.

'There is a difference when it comes to actors of color in this business,' the 50-year-old actress said.

'If it's been 67 years since an actress of color has won an Emmy then there is certainly a line.'

She and her husband, Julius Tennon, have started a production company to try to continue erasing that line.

'My story doesn't end here,' she said.

'There is so much work that needs to be done in so many areas in the business with actors of color, so many narratives that need to be seen by people, so many stories that need to be seen and felt.'

Before taking home the big win on Sunday, Davis told Variety that she is happy that 'a lot of artists of color are being acknowledged.'

'I've gone through my entire career and I've worked with so many brilliants artist of color who are completely anonymous to people because they haven't had the role that pops them,' Davis explained to Variety.

'And now here are all these black artists who have roles, people who are writing for them, and they're popping - you know who they are, they're in the public mindset.

In a separate interview with PEOPLE, Davis said that 'it's my mission in life to make women of color a part of the narrative.'

A number of celebrities took to social media congratulating Davis on her historical win.

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, actress Sanaa Lathan, Sherri Shepard, Oprah, Andy Cohen, Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Laverne Cox and Idris Elba were among those who tweeted Davis well wishes.