Regina King among 2020 People of the Year

'I have things I'm very passionate about. And I feel very lucky to be able to use my art and my voice collectively,' King shared with PEOPLE

Regina King has always been a mega-star in the eyes of the Black community. Now that she’s making history as the first Black female director to be selected by the Venice Film Festival, PEOPLE magazine couldn’t help but crown her one of its 2020 People of the Year.

“I feel like this is the path I was supposed to be on,” the 49-year-old actress told the publication after being announced as one of this year’s honorees.

91st Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 24: Regina King attends the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

READ MORE: Marsai Martin makes history as youngest Hollywood executive producer

“I don’t necessarily see it as a renewed purpose. But I have a little more power now, in my choices, and in my ability to amplify a message,” she continued. “I have things I’m very passionate about. And I feel very lucky to be able to use my art and my voice collectively.”

When it comes to why she believes it’s important to use her massive platform to highlight social justice issues she explains, “I don’t think that we would be at this reckoning that we are right now if the world wasn’t on pause [due to the pandemic]. We’re more sensitive to everything around us. And I have to believe that however far down the line we’ll be on the other side of this, we will be forced to consider other people’s differences.”

READ MORE: KeKe Palmer opens up about PCOS diagnosis, acne

To her point, on Emmy night, she wore a shirt that boldly featured an image of slain Breonna Taylor while making a very pointed statement about the current social climate in America.

“I had the opportunity to not wear a gown and … a chance to visually show why it’s so important to vote down the ballot,” she says of the decision. “How could I not use it?”

But when it comes to politics, she clarifies that she doesn’t identify as a Republican or a Democrat, admitting, “I have a problem with sides.”

“I do believe in the good of humanity,” King concludes, choosing to remain optimistic. “And I want us to be on the other side of us coming together as humankind. But we cannot become complacent. We still have to fight. We’re going to get more scraped knuckles and skinned knees. But after those wounds heal, we’ll have the beauty in the bruises.”

PEOPLE’s 2020 People of the Year list also included George Clooney, Selena Gomez and Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!