This year signifies a shift in how Black women are taking care of themselves. In a time called the “me era,” Black women are declaring agency and resilience, and actress Niecy Nash-Betts’s acceptance speech at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards embodied that sentiment.

Nash-Betts’ speech was an example for Black women, showing them exactly how to step into the “me era.” It is not a year of passivity, but a time of active self-determination and collective progress. It is a time for Black women to put themselves at the forefront and shape their destinies with unwavering resolve.

During her speech, she took the time to thank herself. It was so profound because Black women often don’t take time to thank themselves when they reach certain milestones.

“I’m the only one who knows how much it cost me, she said to reporters. “I’m the only one who knows how many nights I cried because I couldn’t be seen for a certain type of role.”

That part of her speech was the perfect way to remind Black women to thank themselves every time they accomplish something. It also solidified that this year is the officially “me era” for them.

What Is The ‘Me Era?’

The “me era” manifests through heightened visibility, empowerment and a drive for substantial change. During this time, Black women are urged to actively assert themselves in various spheres. They should challenge societal norms and demand the recognition they deserve.

Black women have confronted the ongoing expectation to shrink in spaces, whether in the workplace, in social settings, or within their communities. The pervasive pressure to conform and diminish their presence stems from systemic racism and sexism. It has forced Black women to navigate spaces that frequently overlook their contributions and accomplishments, and undervalue their skills.

In pursuing their dreams, Black women consistently need to showcase resilience and dedication. Despite encountering obstacles and systemic barriers, they tirelessly work towards their goals. However, their hard work goes unnoticed. The historical narrative frequently neglects to acknowledge the substantial contributions of Black women.

That is the reason it is important for Black women to enter the “me era,” and bring others along with them. Nash-Betts is just one person who is amplifying this message, dismantling the systemic pressures and reaching for her own happiness.