Mahershala Ali felt he had to "manage other people's fear" because of his skin colour.
The 'Moonlight' star used to be very "conscious" of how others perceived him because of the colour of his skin and admits how people treated him affected his "energy" for the whole day.
Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, he said: "So many times, in my life, just living in New York city for a good bit of time ... You're walking on the street a lot, you're on public transportation, you're travelling late at night. And I remember I was always really conscious of how I dressed. Like, I wouldn't wear clothes that allowed people to identify me with what I would think they would view as the typical black man. I wouldn't wear tennis shoes. It was a conscious thing, because I found that women would cross the street [to avoid me], day or night. Or turn their ring over on the subway - turn the diamond inward! These were little things I would catch all the time.
"How people would react to a large, fairly muscular, dark-skinned black man - I would be so conscious of it and it would upset me. It would affect my energy for the rest of the day. So in order to protect myself from having to manage other people's fear, I would do things to preempt that. And so many black people around the world do this. Because there's an idea that we're something to be feared, or that we pose a danger."
Meanwhile, Mahershala previously admitted becoming a father has been "remarkable".
He said: "It's been remarkable. I know I really get to get into it tomorrow because awards season is done after tonight, but it's been remarkable. It's such a blessing to be a father."