Tracee Ellis Ross praises ‘black women owning our legacies’ at NAACP Awards

Tom Ford: Autumn/Winter 2020 launch event held at Milk Studios Featuring: Tracee Ellis Ross Where: Los Angeles, California, United States When: 07 Feb 2020 Credit: Faye's Vision/Cover Images

Tracee Ellis Ross delivered an empowering speech as she collected her Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series prize for her role in Black-ish at the 2020 NAACP Image Awards.

The hit ABC show took home all the acting prizes in the comedy series category, and the 47-year-old took the opportunity to praise “this ever-growing chorus of black women owning our own legacies” as she took the stage.

“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.


The daughter of Diana Ross went on to quote a 1979 essay by poet Audre Lorde, reciting: “‘We too often have been expected to be all things to all people, and to speak everyone else’s position but our very own’.

“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.”

Tracee wrapped her speech by complimenting the nominees she won against – Jill Scott, Tiffany Haddish, Yara Shahidi and Logan Browning – and added: “I love being a part of this ever-growing chorus of black women owning our own legacies.”

The 51st NAACP Image Awards took place in Hollywood on Saturday night.