Tracee Ellis Ross praises ‘black women owning our own legacies’ as she wins NAACP Image Award


Tracee Ellis Ross praised ‘this ever-growing chorus of black women owning our own legacies’ at the NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena on Saturday.

The 47-year-old won outstanding actress in a comedy series for her leading performance on the ABC sitcom Black-ish.

‘Thank you NAACP for your work and for giving us a place to gather and to acknowledge each other and to see each other. Thank you, Black-ish for 142 episodes in six years of fun and joy,’ she said at the start of her speech.

Radiant: Tracee Ellis Ross praised ‘this ever-growing chorus of black women owning our own legacies’ at the NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena on Saturday

The daughter of Diana Ross went on to quote a 1979 essay by the renowned black lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde.

‘”We too often have been expected to be all things to all people, and to speak everyone else’s position but our very own,” said Audre Lorde about us as black women,’ Tracee shared during her speech.

‘Our experiences and stories are way too often told through interpreters, and history, systems and laws have told us that we need a man’s voice or power to name our experience, to validate our experiences, that we need a son to carry on a legacy, to etch our impact in time,’ she explained. 

‘But we get to define ourselves, not through how others imagine us, but through how we see ourselves, even if our truth makes you uncomfortable.’

Triumph: The 47-year-old won outstanding actress in a comedy series for her leading performance on the ABC sitcom Black-ish

Triumph: The 47-year-old won outstanding actress in a comedy series for her leading performance on the ABC sitcom Black-ish

Swank: She posed up a storm on the red carpet in a blue and royal purple Christopher John Rogers gown with a plunging neckline

Swank: She posed up a storm on the red carpet in a blue and royal purple Christopher John Rogers gown with a plunging neckline

Tracee graciously made sure to compliment the nominees she won against – Jill Scott, Tiffany Haddish, Yara Shahidi and Logan Browning. 

‘I’m honored to be in the company of Jill, Tiffany, Yara and Logan, each whose voices transcend the real estate of their designated roles,’ said Tracee. 

‘I am honored to be in the era of Ava [DuVernay], Issa [Rae], Lena [Waithe], Melina [Matsoukas], Janelle [Monae], Viola [Davis], Rihanna, Lizzo, Kerry [Washington], Rashida [Jones], America [Ferrera] and the list goes on.’

She added that: ‘I am humbled to learn from the legacies of Moms Mabley, Lena Horne, Cicely Tyson, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll, Maxine Waters, my mom, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Nina Simone and Toni Morrison. And I love being a part of this ever-growing chorus of black women owning our own legacies.’

When you got it: Her ensemble featured a 1980s chick set of massive shoulders, as well as a slit that allowed her to hint at her svelte legs

When you got it: Her ensemble featured a 1980s chick set of massive shoulders, as well as a slit that allowed her to hint at her svelte legs

Star stature: Accessorizing with fashionably mismatched earrings, the sister-in-law of Ashlee Simpson balanced on a pair of metal-tipped heels

Star stature: Accessorizing with fashionably mismatched earrings, the sister-in-law of Ashlee Simpson balanced on a pair of metal-tipped heels

The ceremony was hosted by Anthony Anderson, who plays Tracee’s husband on Black-ish and won outstanding actor in a comedy series for the part this Saturday.

She posed up a storm on the red carpet in a blue and royal purple Christopher John Rogers gown with a plunging neckline.

Her ensemble featured a 1980s chick set of massive shoulders, as well as a slit that allowed her to hint at her svelte legs. 

Reunited: While inside the event she could be spotted posing with Yara Shahidi, who plays her character's daughter on Black-ish and its spin-off Grown-ish

Reunited: While inside the event she could be spotted posing with Yara Shahidi, who plays her character’s daughter on Black-ish and its spin-off Grown-ish

Glamour: She also got her picture taken with Brie Larson, whose movie Just Mercy won multiple awards including outstanding motion picture

Glamour: She also got her picture taken with Brie Larson, whose movie Just Mercy won multiple awards including outstanding motion picture

Accessorizing with fashionably mismatched earrings, the sister-in-law of Ashlee Simpson balanced on a pair of metal-tipped heels.

While inside the event she could be spotted posing with Yara, who plays her character’s daughter on Black-ish and its spin-off Grown-ish.

She also got her picture taken with Brie Larson, whose movie Just Mercy won multiple awards including outstanding motion picture. 

Connections: The ceremony was hosted by Anthony Anderson, who plays Tracee's husband on Black-ish and won outstanding actor in a comedy series for the part this Saturday

Connections: The ceremony was hosted by Anthony Anderson, who plays Tracee’s husband on Black-ish and won outstanding actor in a comedy series for the part this Saturday