This picture, is TRULY, iconic. I mean, TRULY. Look at it! Here we have one amazing actress herself, Taraji P. Henson, running over and preparing to embrace the one and only Viola Davis in a congratulatory hug on being the FIRST black woman to ever win an Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama. Taraji, who was also nominated for this award, could have found herself in the reverse position of being the one gracing the Emmy stage on that night ready to give her historic acceptance speech and yet, instead of being flushed with disappointment and anger, she chose to celebrate her sister!!
We need more Tarajis in the world. Taraji is the definition of "if you win (or I win), we all win!" Too often, women step on the backs, fronts, arms... heads, of one another to get ahead in effort to simply touch the glass ceiling. It's sad. We could all learn a lesson from Ms. Henson on how to celebrate one another. It doesn't mean we aren't bummed that we lost, it doesn't mean we aren't upset at a missed opportunity for ourselves. But what it DOES mean is that regardless, we can look past ourselves even if just for a moment and embrace and celebrate one another.
In Taraji's book Around the Way Girl, she talks about the social media frenzy that followed her epic response to Viola Davis' name being called, and simply put she says (paraphrasing) "I don't get it. Isn't this how you're supposed to act when your friend/sister wins?" I had to sit back and laugh because I was like duh. You are absolutely right, Taraji. This IS how we should respond. Whether we are pursuing the same career/goals or we are walking different paths, we don't always have to be in competition with one another.
Ladies, let's vow to live a life where we choose to celebrate each other's accomplishments. Where we say "Dang. You know what? I wanted that ____, but I am SO happy that you won. I am so happy for the opportunities that lie before you... My time will come, but for now, I celebrate and salute you, sister!"
In an interview about her upcoming movie: Hidden Figures, Taraji talks about the camaraderie these women had being the only black women in their field. Knowing that without them, we may never have stepped foot on the moon. She talks about how the person she portrays, chose to take a step back and let her counterpart shine because that's what she knew and did best. How she decided to say "Hey, I'm still important, but I'm gonna let my sister shine on this one." There's power in women sticking together! (Find the full interview below).
Taraji's constant practice of what she preaches has inspired me to make sure that I lift up all those in my corner, even that one chick that I said Hi to in the hallway in high school and now follow on Facebook despite our lack of true relationship. That I give that one girl I maybe shared two real conversations with in the student center back in undergrad a "I see you girl! Keep it up."
When we choose to build one another instead of tear each other a part, it is then and only then do we become a force to be reckoned with!!