The Most Impactful Quotes From Halle Berry, Regina Hall & More Black Women In Hollywood

The latest Soul of a Nation special celebrates trailblazing Black women in the industry.

In a new documentary, Halle Berry opened up about her experience as a Black woman in Hollywood. Phot...
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In a Feb. 3 special now streaming on Hulu, some of Hollywood’s most beloved actors gathered to share their insights as Black women in the industry — from Halle Berry’s historic Oscar to Debbie Allen’s game-changing work on and off-screen. Here are their most memorable quotes from Soul of a Nation’s Screen Queens Rising special.

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While reflecting on her acting career, Tessa Thompson pointed to a “surreal” moment at a recent luncheon, when Halle Berry addressed her, Ruth Negga, and Jennifer Hudson from stage. “There was this real sense of us being linked,” Thompson recalled. “That we were always linked.”

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Grey’s Anatomy EP Debbie Allen remembered working on A Different Worldnoting the real-world issues the series explored and how it was a boon for enrollment at HBCUs. But nearly 30 years after the show left the air, she said, “there’s so many obstacles to still overcome.”

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Halle Berry talked being the first (and only) Black woman to receive the Best Actress Oscar. “I do feel completely heartbroken ... I thought like everybody else, that night meant a lot of things would change ... That didn’t happen. But what I do know happened that night is that so many people of color got inspired.”

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Jackée Harry had a historic win, too — as the first Black woman to win the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Emmy. “I had the right dress on ... but I never thought about the fact that I would be the only one still, to this day,” she said, recalling the 1987 awards.

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Nine Perfect Strangers star Regina Hall talked about the importance of supporting her fellow Black women in Hollywood. “I think that habit of lifting each other up also creates room for us to know that there’s enough,” she said.

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Marla Gibbs said, “The future for Black women in Hollywood is whatever they want their future to be.” She helped shape that future for Regina King, who played Gibbs’ daughter on 227: “I wanted Regina. ‘Well no, the network has somebody else.’ I said, ‘No we have to have Regina.’”

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Danielle Brooks and Fantasia — stars of the upcoming Color Purple musical — reflected on their showbiz forebears. “Aretha Franklin, that was my girl ... I get a kick off people who say, ‘That door closed, that door closed, that door closed, and I never stopped,’” Fantasia said.

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Black-ish star Marsai Martin also participated as one of Hollywood’s youngest producers. “I went to spread more Black joy,” she said. “Spread more of us in different genres that you don’t see. I want to be a robot! You know, what’s wrong with that?”

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