With Jharrel Jerome making history today at the Emmys — he’s the first Afro-Latino to win an acting Emmy — Remezcla wanted to learn more about what the iconic moment was like for the actor. Backstage at the Emmys, we asked him what winning the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie award meant to him.

“It’s an honor,” he says. “It’s a blessing, and I hope this is a step forward for Dominicans, for Latinos, for Afro-Latinos. It’s about time we are here.”

Jerome, who answered a few more questions, also talked about how Black pain is usually portrayed on screen as well as and how Korey Wise — who he portrayed on Netflix’s When They See Us — gave him a necklace and told him “you’re the king now.”

On top of being the first Afro-Latino to win an acting Emmy, he’s also the youngest winner in this category — something that took him by surprise. “That’s incredible,” he says. “That’s an honor. You know, kids are smart, too. That’s cool.”

Backstage reporting by Manuel Betancourt.