Watch Viola Davis's Impassioned Emmys Acceptance Speech

Viola Davis received a standing ovation for her acceptance speech at the Emmy Awards on Sunday evening, after becoming the first African-American woman to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Davis won the award at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards for her role in ABC's drama mystery How to Get Away with Murder, in which she plays defense lawyer, Annalise Keating, who becomes entwined in a murder plot with five of her interns.

In an impassioned acceptance speech made at the Emmy awards ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Davis discussed the obstacles for women of color in TV by reciting a quote by nineteenth century civil rights activist Harriet Tubman.

"'In my mind, I see a line,'" she quoted Tubman, "'And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me, over that line. But I can't seem to get there no how. I can't seem to get over that line.'"

Davis continued saying: "The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there."

Davis then paid tribute to the writers of the show such as Murder creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes—also creator of Grey's Anatomy—and other black actors such as Halle Berry and Gabrielle Union for "redefining what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be leading women and to be black."

Last January, Davis was awarded a Screen Actors Guild Award (SAG Award) for her role as Keating,and has previously received Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Academy Award for Best Actress nominations for her lead role as Aibileen Clark in the film The Help, which focuses on racial divisions in 1960s Mississippi.

Davis beat House of Cards star Robin Wright, Homeland's Claire Danes, Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men, Taraji P. Henson of Empire and Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black, who were also nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actress category.

Two other black women received awards for supporting roles—Regina King won Supporting Actress In a Limited Series or Movie for American Crime, and Uzo Aduba who won Supporting Actress In a Drama Series for Orange Is the New Black.

Watch Viola Davis's Impassioned Emmys Acceptance Speech | Culture