Halle Berry Says Watching Black Actresses While Being Raised By A White Mother Was ‘Crucial’

Being raised by a single white mother shaped Halle Berry, and so did watching Black actresses on film and television.

In a clip from the upcoming PBS documentary “American Masters: How It Feels to Be Free” on the Oscar-winning star, Berry discusses the “crucial” impact of seeing women onscreen who resembled her.

“I really struggled to find images of Black women or women that I could identify with,” Berry says in a clip from the doc.

“Early on, I remember seeing Lena Horne in ‘Stormy Weather’. I remember seeing Dorothy Dandridge in ‘Carmen Jones’. And then a little after that, I remember seeing Diahann Carroll in ‘Julia’ and that just rearranged me, she explains.

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“Seeing Diahann Carroll being the star of a show and playing a mother who was a nurse, who was educated, who was beautiful, just rearranged me and it made me realize I had value, that I could turn to every week, a woman that looked like who I would aspire to be when I grew up,” adds Berry.

“It was very, very important,” she continues.

“I was a Black child being raised by a white woman, so I didn’t have those images in my household,” she adds. “Finding them on television and through movies became very, very crucial to me.”

“American Masters: How It Feels to Be Free” premieres Jan. 18.

 

 

 

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