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Master of None star Lena Waithe makes history with Emmys writing win

Waithe became the first African-American woman to win best writing for a comedy

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Lena Waithe, actor and writer on Netflix’s Master of None, made history when she won best writing for a comedy series at the Emmys Sunday night. “Let me reclaim my time, give me a second,” Waithe joked as she became the first African-American woman to win in the category, a victory she shared with series creator Aziz Ansari.

The pair generated a roaring standing ovation when they were honored for writing the episode “Thanksgiving,” but Ansari deferred his time at the mic to Waithe — who thanked her mother for “inspiring the story,” Ansari for “pushing” her to co-write the episode, and Netflix and Universal “for creating a beautiful playground” on which to work.

And to her girlfriend, Alana Mayo, Waithe said, “I love you more than life itself.” She also called out her “family” in the LGBTQIA community. “I see each and every one of you,” Waithe said. “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is without us in it.”

“And to everybody out there who showed us so much love with this episode,” she concluded, “thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago. We appreciate it more than you could ever know.”

Olivia Munn, Chance the Rapper, Janelle Monae, Lena Dunham, and Ellen DeGeneres were among the celebrities overjoyed by Waithe and Ansari’s win. “So blessed to share a name with [Lena Waithe],” Dunham tweeted. “Your speech was incredible,” DeGeneres wrote.

A Wrinkle In Time‘s Ava DuVernay, who made history herself as the first woman of color to direct a $100 million movie, also tweeted, “For anyone w/ a dream, know how hard the great @LenaWaithe worked for hers. Congrats on your win, Lena. History has its eyes on you!”