Quinta Brunson

By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — The hit comedy “Abbott Elementary” didn’t get the coveted Emmy Award for Best Comedy series, but its stars Quinta Brunson and Sheryl Lee Ralph were big winners of individual honors in Monday night’s ceremonies which were hosted by “Saturday Night Live’s” Kenan Thompson. It was the first Emmys for both performers. They both also become part of history by winning.

Sheryl Lee Ralph

 Ralph became the second Black winner for supporting actress in a comedy, following Jackée Harry’s win for “227” in 1987. Brunson is not only the creator of “Abbott Elementary,” but a major star and a principal writer. She’d earlier become the first Black woman to receive three Emmy nominations for comedy, and by winning the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series she became the second Black woman to earn that honor, following Lena Waithe’s win in 2017 for co-writing the “Thanksgiving” episode of “Master of None. Brunsom thanked her co-showrunners for “believing in a story from four years ago and thinking that it would make a good TV show,” Brunson also thanked Larry Wilmore “for teaching me to write television as well as he did.”

She added thanks to her family, her husband, and her “incredible cast and crew for helping me to make this show and make the pilot.”

Ralph talked about her lengthy career journey after composing herself and taking the stage. 

“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 before pumping her fist. “This is what striving looks like!”.Ralph’s honor comes after decades in the business with multiple iconic roles – from “Dreamgirls” on Broadway in the 1980s, to stepmother to the title character on the 1990s sitcom “Moesha.”

Other notable Emmy winners include Zendaya, who won her second lead acting Emmy in a row for “Euphoria,” becoming the youngest person to win that award twice. Jerrod Carmichael won an Emmy for Writing For a Variety Special, the HBO program “Rothaniel,”