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Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson make Emmy history

HISTORY MAKERS: Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson

VIOLA DAVIS and Taraji P. Henson have made history after it was announced that two black women had been nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actress at this year’s Emmy Awards.

It is the first time two black women have earned a nod in the coveted category at the same ceremony.

Prior to Kerry Washington's 2013 nomination for Scandal, the last black woman to be nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series was Cicely Tyson in 1995.

Davis’ portrayal of law professor Annalise Keating in How To Get Away with Murder earned her the nod, while Henson’s cut-throat character of Cookie in Fox’s hit show Empire has won her the praise.

Cicely Tyson also earned herself a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for playing the militant mother of Davis’ character in How To Get Away With Murder, which is executively produced by Shonda Rhimes.

Davis took to Twitter to express her excitement. She wrote: "In great company with my sister @TherealTaraji! Also, @NiecyNash! Congrats to all on the outstanding work!"

In a separate tweet she also congratulated her on screen mother.

"Ms.@IAmCicelyTyson!! You never cease to amaze me and I’m so excited for your Emmy nom! Rocked it! #HTGAWM. Such a wonderfully diverse list of talented artists recognized this year. So proud. Again, congrats to everyone!!! #Emmys"

Both leading ladies have had a stellar year on the small screen with hit shows.

Also nominated in the same category are Tatiana Maslany, of Orphan Black,
Robin Wright from Netflix smash hit House of Cards, Claire Danes of Homeland fame and Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men.

Should either one of the two win the coveted award, it will be the first time in its history that the recipient would be a black woman.

The Emmys will take place on September 20.

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