Patina Miller, Cicely Tyson and Billy Porter 2013 Tony Winners/Photography Credit: Getty Images 

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Last night’s Tony Awards was a definitive moment for African-American actors everywhere as 4 out of 10 nominees took home the coveted silver medallion. Veteran actress, Cicely Tyson won her first Tony award ever for her role as Carrie Watts in the play, A Trip to Bountiful.  After a 30-year absence from the Broadway stage, Tyson is one-for-one, first time nominee and win.

cicely-tyson-courtney-b-vance-tonys.jpg23Kinky Boots  star Billy Porter is also one-for-one, as he walked away with the award for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.” Porter, who stars as the larger-than-life drag queen Lola, quoted William Shakespeare during his acceptance speech. Porter also recounted the 1982 Dreamgirls’ Tony performance  as the moment that inspired him to become an actor.

Pippin  actress Patina Miller grabbed the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. This was Miller’s second Tony-nomination and first win. She was previously nominated for her role as Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act: The Musical.

Television and film actor Courtney B. Vance (left) also won for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play for Lucky Guy. Vance, who stars as alongside Tom Hanks, thanked his co-star and the show’s director and fellow nominee George C. Wolfe. Vance also thanked his wife Angela Bassett, and dedicated the award to his mother saying, “Mommy, this one’s for you.”

Not since 1982, has there been a year where four African-American actors won Tony Awards. That year included Jennifer Holliday, Cleavant Derricks and Ben Harvey who were recognized for their performances in Dreamgirls  and Zakes Mokae for his role in Master Harold…and the Boys.

Other highlights of the evening included Audra McDonald as the evening’s first presenter, Cyndi Lauper’s emotional win for scoring the musical, Kinky Boots, the cast of Motown: The Musical performing to “Dancing in the Streets” and Mike Tyson attempting  to sing and dance during the show opener with host Neil Patrick Harris.

Click here to see a full list of nominees and winners from last night.

What was your favorite moment from the Tony Awards?