'She Was the Original Hope Agent': Uzo Aduba Wins Emmy for Shirley Chisholm Portrayal

Illustration for article titled She Was the Original Hope Agent: Uzo Aduba Wins Emmy for Shirley Chisholm Portrayal
Screenshot: Television Academy/Fair Use

At Sunday night’s Emmy Awards, Uzo Aduba won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a limited series for her portrayal of political pioneer Shirley Chisholm in Mrs. America. She accepted the award in what appeared to be her living room, wearing a t-shirt with Breonna Taylor’s name on it. Regina King, who came away with her fourth Emmy win, also wore a t-shirt honoring Taylor, the 26-year-old who was fatally shot by police in March.

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Aduba endearingly yelled “Mom, I won!” into the other room before diving into a short acceptance speech.

After thanking the network and everyone who made the show possible, she thanked Chisholm “for her championship work for all people who have been forgotten and marginalized, who she represented.”

Chisholm, in case you need a refresher, was the first Black woman elected to Congress, and first Black candidate to receive a presidential nomination from a major party.

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Mrs. America, the FX series about influential anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly and the battle over the Equal Rights Amendment, dedicates its third episode to the political icon, which deals with the backlash Chisholm faced from members of her own party, some of whom wanted her to choose between her identity as a Black American and her identity as a woman.

“Shirley was a woman who had an entirely different definition for herself than the definition the world tried to impose on her,” Aduba told Variety in July. “When you listen to her speeches, they are all about possibility. She was the original hope agent.”

Night blogger at Jezebel with writing at Vice, The Nation, Gothamist, The Awl, and more.

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sebright
Anne'sPuffedSleeves

Uzo is the best! She deserves all good things.