Black actresses thrilled with television trends

- The countdown continues for the second season opening episode of the sizzling FOX television show "Empire." The program is not only phenomenal with a diehard following, it's also part of a popular trend of shows popping up featuring "people of color."
"Thanks for starting this conversation," says Houston-based actress Cynthia Garcia with a smile.  "It's an important one.”

More television shows featuring diverse casts have a lot of people talking. Now so does Viola Davis being the first black woman to win an Emmy Award for lead actress in a drama. 

“Yay, she deserves it!,” says Garcia as she and fellow actress Rachel Dickson cheer and clap.
"Her win gives us hope, continues to give us hope of the endless possibilities that are out there,” says Houston-based actress Eileen J. Morris.

FOX 26 News met with a group of performers at the Ensemble Theatre in Houston. Members of the acting group say Davis' victory is also one for African American actresses all over the U.S.

"Just the door opening a little bit by this one singular win is a big door opener," explains Garcia. "I am hopeful the doors in every part of the industry, film, television and theatre, the doors are swinging wide open just because of this one single event. It's a very historical event.” She adds that this is so much more than a celebration of an award.

”It's way bigger than that, way bigger than that," adds Dickson. "It's about validating African American presence in this country. We are contributors and equals to everybody else.” 

”It 's definitely inspirational, that's what it is," says Garcia. "I may not have been so interested before but I'm inspired because I'm seeing a piece of America represented in a new way. So you don’t have to be of color to enjoy and appreciate this victory.” 

”For a lot of black women in this moment, who are really coming into their own beauty, they're like ‘Yes!' Her body and her voice and who she is and being seen like that there's a whole generation of young women who, this is going to mean a lot for them. Viola Davis and her dark skin is beautiful and so am I,” says Houston-based actress Autumn Knight.

The actresses at Ensemble Theatre also say that they hope this is just the beginning. 

"Look at me for the talent that I am and yes, I happen to be a chocolate-skinned girl,” adds Morris. 
”This win by Viola Davis certainly says something is happening because there were folks who had to vote and make the decision for her to win," says Dickson with a smile. "So I'm hoping it will spread like wildfire and there are more opportunities.” 

As for the start of season two of "Empire," you can watch the hit FOX show "Empire" on FOX 26 News on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. followed by FOX 26 News at 9 p.m.

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