TEN YEARS AGO... on 24th of March 2002, the OSCARS made history, when HALLE BERRY was presented with the ACADEMY AWARD for Best Actress for her performance as the wife of a death row inmate in "Monster’s Ball". Berry was the first African-American performer to win in the Best Actress category and only the second African-American actress ever to be honored by the Academy (the first was HATTIE McDANIEL, who won for her supporting role in 1939’s "Gone With the Wind"). As an emotional Berry clutched her Oscar, she tearfully called the moment "so much bigger than me" and declared that "the door had been opened" for actresses of color !!!
On the heels of Berry’s historic win, DENZEL WASHINGTON became only the second African-American man to win in the Best Actor category, accepting the statuette for his role as a corrupt Los Angeles police officer in "Training Day". It was the first time that African-American performers had taken home both of the year’s top acting awards. SIDNEY PORTIER, the first black Best Actor winner (for 1964’s "Lilies of the Field") received an honorary OSCAR that night as well !!!