On this day in 2002, actress Halle Berry became the first Black woman to receive an Academy Award for Best Actress in a leading role.
Berry received the award for her performance in the film “Monster’s Ball.” It was her emotional acceptance speech that grabbed headlines the following day. Berry said, “This moment is so much bigger than me. It’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”
Also in 2002, Denzel Washington received the Best Actor award for his role in “Training Day,” and Sidney Poitier was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the Academy Awards.
However, no Black woman has won Best Actress at the Academy Awards since Halle Berry’s victory 21 years ago.
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