The (Shockingly Short) List of Black Women Who Have Won Primetime Emmy Awards

Only about 35 Black women have taken home trophies for acting and creative arts from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: 70th ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS -- Pictured: Actor Regina King poses with the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie award for 'Seven Seconds' during the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018. NUP_184223 (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
By Rivea Ruff · September 17, 2021

The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards show airs on Sunday and we can’t wait to check out the red carpet looks, see if our favorite stars, shows, and miniseries are taking home trophies, and of course, catch what gems will be dropped in those acceptance speeches. 

Shockingly (or perhaps not shocking at all), only about 35 Black women have taken home Primetime Emmy Awards in the 73 years the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has been recognizing achievements in acting and production. 

This figure goes across both the creative arts and performance awards, as only a small handful of Black women have been recognized in categories such as comedy screenwriting (only one, Winifred Hervey, has won in the category for Outstanding Comedy Series for her work on The Golden Girls in 1987), hairstyling (Sabana Majeed and Charlene Belmond in 2019, Araxi Lindsey in 2020, and Tene Wilder just this year), and documentary filmmaking (Jacqueline Glover, still the only Black woman to win in this category, has taken the honor twice).

Lena Waithe (L) and Ava DuVernay on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. | Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images

As we gear up for a ceremony with a record-breaking number of Black actors in particular nominated – HBO’s now-canceled Lovecraft Country has at least one Black actor nominated in each dramatic acting category this year – take a closer look at the few Black women who have carried us here over the years: