Why Viola Davis Quoted Harriet Tubman at the Emmys

PHOTO: Viola Davis in the press room at the 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 20, 2015 in Los Angeles and a portrait of Harriet Tubman, herself an escaped slave, helped hundreds of slaves escape by the Underground Railroad. PlayJason LaVeris/Getty Images | Corbis
WATCH Viola Davis' Powerful Speech After Historic Emmy Win

It’s the Emmy speech that people are still talking about.

Viola Davis quoted Harriet Tubman in front of an audience of A-list celebrities and millions of viewers watching from home while accepting her historic Emmy award for outstanding actress in a drama.

Taking the stage, she opened her speech with a quote from Tubman:

“In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line, but I can’t seem to get there no-how. I can't seem to get over that line.”

"The How To Get Away with Murder" star then pointed out, “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

Davis also used her Emmy win to highlight the lack of opportunities for actresses of color. She thanked actresses Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union and Kerry Washington for helping women of color cross that "line."

Davis has been busy preparing to play the famed abolitionist, who helped hundreds of slaves reach freedom in the North via the Underground Railroad, in an upcoming HBO film.

The still untitled movie is based on the book "Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero" by Kate Clifford Larson. Davis is executive producing the film along with her partner and husband, Julius Tennon.