Halle Berry: ‘When I started 30 years ago, there weren’t rooms like this’

At the 4th annual Critics Choice Association’s celebration of Black Cinema and Television, Oscar winner Halle Berry had a few choice words for the entertainment industry.

Held recently at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, and hosted by actress Niecy Nash, Berry, who received the Career Achievement Award talked about being one of the few actors of color when she first started as an actress 30 years ago.

“There weren’t rooms like this where I could go and feel affirmed or esteemed and I was often alone and one of the few Black people in a room, searching to find my value, searching to find my worth,” she cried out to a packed ballroom.

Berry, who made history in 2002 when she became the first African American to win the best actress Oscar for her role in “Monster’s Ball” remains the only black woman to have best actress accolade and expressed dismay that no other black actresses have won the golden statuette in that category.  “We should not covert awards. Awards do not define our work and talent,” she continued, calling out her peers that included Jennifer Hudson who was also honored at the event for her portrayal of Aretha Franklin in the movie “Respect.”

Other honorees at the event included Ava DuVernay, who was the inaugural recipient of the Melvin Van Peebles Trailblazer award, “King Richard” star Will Smith and director Barry Jenkins for “The Underground Railroad.”

A portion of the proceeds from the night will be designated to provide scholarships to students from underrepresented communities participating in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Gold Rising Program.

By Samantha Ofole-Prince

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