Debbie Allen was the first Black woman to receive the Primetime Emmy Governor’s award

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Iconic choreographer, dancer, singer and actress Debbie Allen was honored with the Governor’s award last night and it was a joy to see. Everyone always yells at me when I say this, but I thought she was at least a decade younger than she is. She’s 71 I can’t believe it. She was presented the award by Michael Douglas, Ellen Pompeo, Ava DuVernay and Jada Pinkett Smith. Debbie was genuinely surprised that Jada was there and said that she was just at her 50th birthday. Her speech went a little over, which was expected because she’s the Governor’s award winner! I loved how she handled that. Debbie said that “it’s been many years in the making. It’s taken a lot of courage to be the only woman in the room most of the time. A lot of courage and creativity and fight and faith to believe that I could keep going and I have.” She said “turn that clock off I ain’t paying no attention to it” and Jurnee Smollet snapped her fingers to that! She didn’t go on for very long after that, thanking everyone who has worked with her and given her opportunities. Here’s her speech, she comes on at around 4:30.

In an interview after the Emmys Debbie was asked if she’s on TikTok and she said she’s not but she did a video with one of her students and it went viral. She said she’s happy to see people spreading dance but that she’s not on TikTok. She told her student “Child no, I can’t be doing this.” She’s amazing and I’m so happy to see her honored! I used to watch Fame when I was a kid. I’m going to bookmark her dance class from Instagram so I can do it soon.

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13 Responses to “Debbie Allen was the first Black woman to receive the Primetime Emmy Governor’s award”

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  1. Jezz says:

    I love every single thing about her and have forever. But grey and burgundy? If that wrap had been gold, it would have been worthy of her.

  2. Seraphina says:

    What a stunning color on her. No a fan of the wrap’s color – and congrats to her on her award. Well deserved.

    • Krista says:

      I agree. The wrap is gorgeous and luxurious, but not exactly right for her dress. She looks amazing and while I hate her character on Grey’s, I love her portrayal.

  3. Nlopez says:

    Congratulations Debbie Allen! She’s fierce & a true legend!

  4. Lynn says:

    I’ve loved Debbie Allen forever but I sure hope that is fake fur.

  5. paranormalgirl says:

    She’s amazing and regal and so talented and I have loved her forever.

  6. Merricat says:

    Debbie Allen is a force of nature. She looks fantastic!

  7. chloe says:

    Love Debi and what is with this playing music for the Governor’s Award, you can’t expect someone to win a lifetime achievement award to be able to thank everyone in 45 seconds. I always find the music playing while someone is trying to give a speech as rude.

  8. CoffeChamp says:

    Debbie Allen is a treasure and deserves to be honored. I’m pretty sure she was the original auntie.

  9. Boxy Lady says:

    Wow! This has been a big year for her. She got the Kennedy Center Honor award earlier this year. Her daughter did a dance tribute to her. Debbie Allen deserves all the flowers! ❤

  10. PoppedBubble says:

    Very happy for her!

  11. Rosebud says:

    Wow I’m honestly surprised that they took this long to award a black woman. Damn. Smh