— -- "This Is Us" star Sterling K. Brown says he was proud to become the first black actor to win best actor in a TV drama, but he added backstage Sunday night that he never set out to make TV history.
The actor joked that he's "never been the first brother to do anything," saying that in high school, he was only the fourth African-American student council president and the second black junior varsity basketball captain.
"To finally be the first of something is really interesting because I never considered myself to be a trailblazer," he said. "I just try to stand in my truth all the time and if I come from a place of truth, that's all I can do. I can't worry about trying to be Jackie Robinson or anything else, but I'm honored."
On stage, Brown, 41, not only thanked his wife and children, but also recognized "This Is Us" creator Dan Fogelman for making a role specifically for a black actor.
"Throughout the majority of my career, I’ve benefited from colorblind casting, which means, 'Hey, let’s throw a brother in there.' That’s always really cool. But Dan Fogelman, you wrote a role for a black man that can only be played by a black man," he said, clutching his award.
Brown's history-making moment comes after he made history by becoming the first black actor in two decades to win an Emmy for best actor in a drama series for the same role as Randall Pearson, a black child who's adopted by the Pearsons, who are white.
"So what I appreciate so much about this is that I’m being seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am, and it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me or dismiss anybody who looks like me," Brown continued.