Date: 25th March 2002
A tearful Halle Berry used her moment of glory at last night's
(24 March 2002) Oscars ceremony to pay tribute to America's underrated black actresses.
The stunning star won the Best Actress gong for her role in the
racially charged film Monster's Ball, and she was so blown away by the event, she used her time onstage to make a meaningful
The Swordfish (2001) star sobbed as she accepted her award from Russell Crowe and said, "This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahanne Carroll, the women who stand beside me - Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica A Fox and every nameless, faceless woman of colour that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened."
Berry went on to pay tribute to her husband Eric Benet, her
mother, Spike Lee for casting her in her first movie and Oprah
Winfrey for being "the best mentor".
And when Oscars chiefs tried to cut short her emotive speech,
she screamed, "Wait a minute. There's 74 years here. I've got to take this time."
Host Whoopi Goldberg later paid tribute to Berry, saying, "It has been a very large door and I'm glad she was the one who kicked it down."
Meanwhile Sidney Poitier, the first and until last night the only
African American to win a Best Actor Oscar, won an Honorary
Lifetime Achievement Award and Denzel Washington became the second African American Best Actor winner for his role as a thuggish cop in Training Day (2001).
Washington said, "Two birds in one night. God is good. God is
great. Forty years I've been chasing Sidney and what do they do?
They give it to you the same night. I'll always be chasing you
Sidney, I'll always be following in your footsteps. There's nothing
I would rather do, sir. God bless you."