Halle Berry Dishes On How Seeing Black Actresses On TV While Being Raised By A White Mom Greatly Impacted Her Life

By Duchess Magazine

Halle Berry posing with her mum

Academy award winning actress Halle Berry was born to interracial parents, an African American father who was largely absent in her life as he left when she was four and a white mom. According to the actress, black actresses in film and television helped her feel more in touch with her black heritage .

In a clip from the upcoming PBS documentary “American Masters: How It Feels to Be Free” the Oscar-winning star in a no holds barred conversation opened up on 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.

“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.

“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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