Sheryl Lee Ralph Delivers ANOTHER Powerful Speech at Critics Choice Awards

A little belief in yourself can take you far on the winding path to following your dreams.

Sixty-six year old Sheryl Lee Ralph is a shining example of what it means to truly believe in yourself and achieve your dreams in spite of what others may think. It also doesn’t hurt that Ralph had the support of renowned actor, Sidney Poitier, who she said encouraged her early on in her career, at the 2023 Critics Choice Awards on Sunday, Jan. 15.

Black actors experience their share of ups and downs in Hollywood. As a double minority, being Black and a woman, Ralph began experiencing the struggle at 19.

She emoted in her acceptance speech for best supporting actress in a comedy series for Abbott Elementary on Sunday, “Every mistake, every back break, every ‘No’, every rejection in an industry that when I was 19 years old was quick to tell me there was no place for me.”

Thankfully, for Ralph, Poitier, the first Black and Bahamian actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor was a supportive figure. The actress shared, “Sidney Poitier looked at me and said, ‘You’re a damn good actress,'” according to People.

As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, Ralph became the second Black woman to win an Emmy award for outstanding supporting actress for her role as a teacher in Abbott Elementary in September 2022.

Ralph inspires others to follow their dreams. She said in her speech on Sunday, “To all of you watching, come close to the screen and listen. People don’t have to like you, people don’t have to love you, people don’t even have to respect you. But when you look in the mirror, you better love what you see!” She concluded with an encouraging word, “To anyone who has ever, ever had a dream and thought your dream wasn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t come true, I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like.”