It was until Sunday Rashad became the very first black actress to immerge victorious for a dramatic leading role in Play by the name-“A Raisin in the Sun.” During the day she said she always wondered what it takes to win. She finally confessed it takes amazing grace and self-effort.
She also said that in her life Grace has taken different forms. She said that her family is the first form of her life Grace has taken. The fact that her mother always fought consistently, fearlessly and courageously to see that all her children above anything else realized their full potential.
Through winning, the actress finished a journey started by Claudia McNeil more than 40years ago in the first production of “A Raisin in the Sun.” In 1960, Claudia was nominated for the Tony for a dramatic leading role as the first black woman. Though she eventually she lost to Anne Bancroft.
Three years later McNeil was still nominated for “Tiger Tiger Burning Bright.” She lost to Uta Hagen for “Who’s Afraid of Viriginia Woolf.”
Actresses Diana Sands, Leslie Uggams, Mary Alice, Anna Deavere Smith and Bea Richards have also been nominated over the years. None of them immerged the winner though Leslie did triumph in 1968 for her part in the musical “Hallelujah, Baby!” which was a tie with Patricia Routledge for “Darling of the Day.” In 1987 Mary Alice won the featured actress play prize for “Fences.”
In 1975 Winston Ntshona jointly won with John Kani for their roles in “The Island” and “Sizwe Banzi is Dead.”
On the other hand, three black actors have also received the top acting prize. James Earl Jones has won twice, In 1969 Jones won for “The Great White Hope” and in 1987 August Wilson’s “Fences.”
During the day, Rashad concluded her acceptance for winning by thanking God for everything in her life.