Tyra Banks Thanks Sports Illustrated For Putting Black Girls On Cover

At tonight's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful special on NBC, Tyra Banks gave a heartfelt speech, thanking Sports Illustrated for being "daring" and putting black girls on the cover of the magazine.

Below is a transcript of her speech:

A lot of the women here say it was their dream. But it wasn't my dream, because I didn't think it was possible. And I didn't think it was possible because of the color of my skin....I want to thank Sports Illustrated...for thinking different, and I say "different" without an "ly," for being daring and for making every little black girl that year that saw that issue go "oh my God, mama, I think I'm pretty because a black girl's on the cover just like me." I stand here representing everybody with a dream, to know that if you have a dream and you have tunnel vision, it can come true. But remember to dream bigger. Because if you do, those things can be reached, too.

Earlier, she tweeted about it as well:

Image via Getty Images