This Day in Black History: June 6, 2004

This Day in Black History: June 6, 2004

On June 6, 2004, Phylicia Rashad became the first Black woman to win best actress in a dramatic leading role at the Tony Awards.

Published June 6, 2014

On June 6, 2004, Phylicia Rashad, who is well known for her role as Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, won a Tony award for best actress in a play becoming the first African-American woman to win best actress at the award ceremony.

“Often I’ve wondered what does it take for this to happen. And now I know. It takes effort and grace, tremendous self-effort and amazing grace,” Rashad told Associated Press.

Rashad played the role of Lena Younger, the strong-willed matriarch in a poignant performance in A Raisin in the Sun.

More than 40 years prior, Claudia McNeil, the woman who first played the role of Lena Younger, became the first Black woman to be nominated for a Tony award as best female in a dramatic leading role.

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(Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Written by Nicole Phillip

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