Halle Berry made history when she became the first Black woman to ever win "Best Actress" at the Academy Awards. Her blackness has always been a crucial part of who she is and it's even more obvious among Hollywood's lack of diversity. She opened up to People about what it was like for her to grow up as a biracial child and how that experience shaped who she is today.
When she was a child, one decision basically changed the course of Halle Berry's life. Her mother was afraid of all the violence going on at Berry's inner-city high school. So, Berry recalls, she moved the entire family out to the suburbs.
"Now, all of a sudden we were in an all-white school with all-white kids," Berry said. "I got bullied a little bit...because of the color of my skin and at that time we were 'Oreos.' "
"Oreos," she explained, was a reference to having one white parent and one Black parent. Today, it's evolved to mean any Black person who doesn't fit the negative stereotype of blackness. It was hard for Berry endure that, but she thinks it made her even stronger.
"My need to please and my desire to achieve was because I was constantly trying to prove that I was as good as the other white students," she explained. "I felt very less than and I thought if I could beat them at everything, then I can be as good as them. Subsequently, that taught me how to win in life."
And she's definitely won. Now, she can pass what she's learned onto her children. Her daughter, Nahla, is 9 years old and will love mom's help navigating race issues when she's older. Luckily, Berry has so much hope for the future.
"I think my daughter, who is mixed race, might have issues as she grows with her race," Berry said. "Right now, I don't feel like it's an issue and I feel like her generation, they're not making it such an issue like my generation was. We're evolving and we're growing as humans, I think, in that area."
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