Sheryl Lee Ralph Receives Order of Jamaica Award

by Jhanaya Belle

October 19, 2022

Photo by:  Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

The celebrated actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is continuing to show the world that #ThisisWhatBelievingLooksLike!

In recognition of her “sterling contribution as an actress, cultural ambassador of Jamaica, and for contribution to the international film industry,” the Abbott Elementary actress received the prestigious Honorary Order of Jamaica.

With a career spanning four decades, the actress recently won her first Emmy Award.

“Well, it is now official! I am The Honourable Sheryl Lee Ralph OJ,” Ralph exclaimed in a celebratory Instagram post. “Warrior Woman! #ThisisWhatBelievingLooksLike”

At the nation’s National Honours and Awards Ceremony on Monday, October 17, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph was one of 143 Jamaicans honored.

The event took place in Kingston’s King’s House. The Order of Jamaica (OJ), granted to “citizens of remarkable distinction,” is the country’s fifth-highest accolade, according to the Jamaica Observer.

The newly-minted Emmy winner, who spent some of her youth in Jamaica, was one of the awardees.

Other honorees included Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a five-time world champion, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, minister of culture, entertainment, sports, and gender, Joan Duncan, a late business pioneer and founder of the Jamaica Money Market Brokers Ltd (JMMB), and Monty Alexander, a well-known jazz pianist from Jamaica.

Her daughter, Ivy, also shared a video of Ralph accepting the honor. “Officially introducing The Honorable Sheryl Lee Ralph, Order of Jamaica!! MI CYANNN MANAGEEE! GO MOMMY!,” she tweeted.

Abbott Elementary’s creator, Quinta Brunson, and many celebrities such as Kerry Washington commented on the actress’ post.

“YAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!!!!! 🇯🇲,” Kerry Washington commented.

“😍,” Quinta Brunson commented.

Actress Holly Robinson Peete also commented on the post saying “Congratulations 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾.”

The 65-year-old legend won her first Emmy for her work as Barbara Howard, a respected, matriarchal Kindergarten teacher on Abbott Elementary, the ABC “mockumentary” sitcom about energetic teachers in a tragically underfunded Philadelphia public school.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson/ABC via Getty Images

“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. This is what striving looks like. And don’t you ever, ever give up on you,” she exclaimed.

The distinction followed decades in the industry and numerous memorable roles, including those in Dreamgirls on Broadway in the 1980s and as the titular character’s stepmother named Dee in the 1990s teen show Moesha, starring Brandy Norwood.

Please join us as we congratulate Sheryl Lee Ralph on this amazing accomplishment!

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