Fifteen years ago, Halle Berry became the first Black woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Monster’s Ball.
In a recent conversation with Teen Vogue’s editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth, Berry admits that she feels her win didn’t help open more doors. In her memorable acceptance speech back in 2002, Berry had even dedicated her Oscar to “every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”
Berry told Welteroth, “Wow, that moment really meant nothing. It meant nothing. I thought it meant something but I think it meant nothing.”
Berry also referred to the 2015 Oscars which was dubbed #OscarsSoWhite when no actors of color were nominated as “probably one of my lowest professional moments.”
Despite Berry’s disappointment, the actress explained how it has inspired her to make opportunities for other actors of color. “It inspired me to get involved in other ways, which is why I want to start directing, I want to start producing more,” said Berry. “I want to start being a part of making more opportunities for people of color.”
Watch Berry’s interviews on diversity in the film industry as well her thoughts on race and identity and Black Lives Matter with Teen Vogue here.
Halle Berry joins an already-impressive daytime lineup on the Empowerment Stage that includes previously announced guests like Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Angela Rye, Al Sharpton, Ava DuVernay, Mary J. Blige, Michael Eric Dyson, Tamron Hall, Larenz Tate, Tamika Mallory, April Ryan, Tina Knowles-Lawson and many more.
Click HERE for a look at the full ESSENCE Empowerment Experience speakers list.
Be sure to download the official ESSENCE Fest app for information on how you can see Halle, along with more of your favorite faces in business, politics, entertainment and more at the 2017 ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans!