The big movie folks are giving a new copy of Hattie McDaniel’s special Oscar to a school in Washington, D.C. Hattie was the first Black person to get an Oscar for her role in the old movie “Gone with the Wind.”
This Oscar’s going to the arts school named after Chadwick A. Boseman on Oct. 1. They’re calling the event “Hattie’s Come Home.”
Back in 1940 at a fancy event in Los Angeles, Hattie and her friend weren’t allowed to sit with everyone else because of her color, the movie folks said.
When Hattie got her award, she said, “It has made me feel very, very humble and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything I may be able to do in the future,” McDaniel said in her acceptance speech. “I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel. And may I say thank you and God bless you.”
Back in the day, instead of a statue, McDaniel got a plaque. That’s what they gave folks who won for supporting roles from 1936 to 1942, the academy says.
When she passed in 1952, she left her Oscar to Howard University. It was shown in the drama department until the late ’60s. But guess what? It’s gone missing, and nobody knows where it is, says the academy.
“Hattie McDaniel was a groundbreaking artist who changed the course of cinema and impacted generations of performers who followed her. We are thrilled to present a replacement of Hattie McDaniel’s Academy Award to Howard University,” said Jacqueline Stewart and Bill Kramer from the academy. “This momentous occasion will celebrate Hattie McDaniel’s remarkable craft and historic win.”