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Sheryl Lee Ralph Sings Her Way Through Her Emmy Award Speech

Sheryl Lee Ralph with her Emmy

Abbott Elementary has been the latest in shows that make us feel good, remind us of why we love the mockumentary style, and brings us a cast of characters who love their jobs and want to be the best teachers they can be. It’s one of the best new comedies out there and so tonight at the Emmys, it’s no surprise that it is winning awards for its cast! And Sheryl Lee Ralph won for her role as Barbara Howard on the series, a teacher who Quinta Brunson’s Janine looks up to. And now, Ralph has an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series!

Ralph started her speech by singing Dianne Reeves’ “Endangered Species” and the power that she has was made so clear in how the audience sat, enamored by her performance. And from there, she reminded us all the power of our dreams. “To anyone who has ever, ever, had a dream and thought your dream wasn’t, couldn’t wouldn’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.”

Ralph is the second Black woman to take home the award, the first being Jackée Harry who shared her support for Ralph’s win.

Barbara Howard deserves it

Ralph’s character on Abbott Elementary is an older teacher who wants to do best by her students but also knows the limitations of the school she is working for which pairs nicely with Brunson’s Janine who thinks that she can change the lives of her classes and looks up to Barbara for guidance. In her speech, Ralph shouted out Brunson by saying that having her in her “corner” (along with her husband, her kids, and all her friends who voted for her) helped to get her to this historic win.

Much like the show itself, seeing Ralph win the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series award was one of the feel good moments of the night because she deserved it and so much more. I can’t wait to see what season 2 holds for our favorite teachers and I just know that Sheryl Lee Ralph will continue to shine in Abbott Elementary. Now, just with an Emmy award under her belt.

(image: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.