Below, an excerpt from Da’Vonne’s powerful speech:
“Cassandra Waldon was the very first houseguest to ever walk through those doors. She was a strong Black woman. Danielle Reyes sat in these two chairs—iconic and legendary. She as well was a strong Black woman and almost won this game. The spinoff version, Celebrity Big Brother, Tamar Braxton, another strong Black woman, won this entire thing by a unanimous vote.
I have the desire to join that list of women and be the first African American to ever win this game. Twenty-one seasons of winners and not one of those faces look like mine. So when I walked through those doors I had that desire, that determination to be the very first face to give hope to those behind me who have the desire to come in here and play this game. Because not seeing the face that looks like mine is very discouraging, it’s hurtful and it does make me feel like maybe it’s impossible. But I’m wrong about that because it’s definitely possible. We can do it, it just hasn’t been done yet.
Also, I want to acknowledge every African American who has walked through those doors with the same desire to be that face that I have. I see you, I salute you, and I appreciate you. You came in here, you knew the odds were against you, you knew that it was gonna be an uphill battle and you still fought and you fought like hell. And for that I love you, I admire you and I acknowledge you all today.”