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Sun, 03.24.2002

First Black woman wins Oscar for best actress

Halle Berry

*On this date in 2002, the first Black woman won the Academy Award for best actress. Halle Berry received the honor for her role in "Monster’s Ball" the award left the star in tears and unable to speak for nearly a minute. "This moment is so much bigger than me," she finally choked out, ticking off the names of other Black actresses. Given the sign to wrap up her acceptance speech at the 74th annual Oscars, she protested, "This is 74 years here; I’ve got to take this time." Berry went on to say "This moment is for all the nameless, faceless women of color who now have a chance because this door tonight has been opened."

On the same night, Black actor Denzel Washington won for Best Actor from the movie “Training Day,” making him the second African American to win such an award from the Academy of Fine Arts award. After receiving the award, Washington mentioned: "Forty years I’ve been chasing Sidney (Poitier). They finally give it to me, and they give it to him the same night."

The Associated Press
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