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The Oscar win in 2002 ‘didn’t open the door’ for black actresses

Halle Berry became the first black woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress in 2002.

No other African-American thespian has won the award in two decades.

 

The “X-Men” star, 55, reflected on the evening and admitted that progress for actresses of colour has been slow.

 

“If you didn’t win the Globe, you didn’t win the Oscar,” Berry recently told the New York Times.

 

It’s great to be here, but I’m not going to win,” she said.

 

In the Bedroom, Sissy Spacek won a Golden Globe that year. Berry won an Oscar in 2002 for the drama “Monster’s Ball,” about a grieving mother and widow.

 

“It didn’t work,” Berry said. “No one standing beside me is heartbreaking.”

“We can’t always judge success or progress by how many awards we have,” she said.

 

Awarded are peers saying you were exceptionally excellent this year, she told the outlet. “Doesn’t that mean we weren’t great, successful, changing the world with our art, and growing our opportunities?”

 

Last year, Viola Davis for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and Andra Day for “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” were both nominated for Best Actress Oscars.

 

But no black women were nominated for Best Actress this year.

“This moment is so much bigger than me,” Berry said after winning. The honour goes to Diahann Carroll and Dorothy Dandridge. It’s for Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, and Vivica Fox. A chance has been given to every nameless, faceless woman of colour tonight.”

 

Berry described her feelings that fateful night to the New York Times. “I have no memory of it,” she says. “I have no idea how I got there. It was a total blackout. ‘Breathe, mate,’ I recall Russell Crowe saying. Then I just started talking, holding a golden statue.”

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