Hattie McDaniel

The first African American woman to win an academy award.

February 1, 2023

Chan, Melissa. (Feb. 29th, 2017). Image:(1895–1952). [Digital Image]. American Actress Hattie McDaniel is seen Here with her Academy Award. John Kobal Foundation. Getty Images. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://time.com/4241293/hattie-mcdaniels-oscar-academy-awards/.

Born June 10, 1893, in Wichita, Kansas U.S., Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Academy Award. She is known best for her performance as Mammy in Gone With the Wind, for which she earned the award.

She was an American actress and singer who received the honor of acting as Mammy in Gone With the Wind. As a child, McDaniel loved to perform and sing, and often her mother tried to bribe her with money to stop.  Refusing to stay quiet, she became a major historical figure, using her skills to fight against racism and discrimination to change people’s perspectives on African American actors.

Hattie McDaniel was also the first black woman to sing on the radio in America. Despite achieving everything she wanted, she faced serious discrimination throughout her career. Even with this, McDaniel kept moving forward based on her own beliefs that one must “fight any existing evil from the inside” (quotabelle.com).

Coggan, Devan. (Feb. 22nd, 2018). [Digital Image]. N.A. Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://ew.com/oscars/2018/02/22/hattie-mcdaniel-first-black-oscar-winner-legacy/. (Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

Her parents Henry and Susam Holbert McDaniel were formerly enslaved. Her father was a Baptist preacher, and her mother sang spirituals in church while Hattie sang in the choir. At the tender age of six, Hattie decided she wanted to become an actress. Growing up in a life of poverty, singing, dancing, and acting would be her key out of it.

Fast forward to February 29, 1940, McDaniel made history when she earned the Academy Award against insurmountable odds. Being the daughter of former slaves, McDaniel was able to overcome racism and discrimination to achieve her dream.  She allowed nothing to stop her in her tracks, making her an admired historical figure showcasing the potential of African Americans in America.







The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (Jan. 11th, 2023). Hattie McDaniel. Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Hattie-McDaniel.

Quotabelle. (n.d.). Hattie McDaniel. Retrieved January 17, 2023 from http://www.quotabelle.com/author/hattie-mcdaniel.

The Kansas State Historical Society. (n.d.). Hattie McDaniel. Read Kansas!. Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://www.kshs.org/teachers/read_kansas/pdfs/i03card09.pdf.

Chad. (Dec. 9th, 2020). Hattie McDaniel. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from  https://walkoffame.com/hattie-mcdaniel/.

Kansas Historical Society. (May 2009—2016). Hattie McDaniel. Kansapedia. Retrieved January 17, 2023 from https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/hattie-mcdaniel/12146#:~:text=She%20was%20the%2013th%20child,moved%20to%20 Colorado%20in%201900.

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. (April 3rd, 2020). Hattie McDaniel. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://www.cogreatwomen.org/project/hattie-mcdaniel/#:~:text=Hattie%20decided%20to%20become%20an,of%20a%20life%20of%20poverty.

Meares H. Hadley. (April 26th, 2021). The Icon and the Outcast: Hattie McDaniel’s Epic Double Life. Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2021/04/hattie-mcdaniel-gone-with-the-wind-oscars-autobiography#:~:text=On%20February%2029%2C%201940%2C%20Hattie,picture%20of%20pride%20and%20joy.

The Lightning Flash • Copyright 2024 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in