Black History Trailblazers and Changemakers 2020--DAY 2: Hattie McDaniel
Feb 02, 2020
I'm celebrating Black History Month by looking for changemakers and trailblazers.
DAY 2- Hattie Mc Daniel was the first black entertainer to win an Oscar. She was an American singer, songwriter, actress of stage and screen, and comedian, best known for the role of “Mammy” in the movie, “Gone with the Wind” for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In spite of public recognition of her talent, segregation reared its ugly head throughout her entire career.
Though she was an integral part of the movie Gone with the Wind, for example, she was barred by Georgia’s segregation laws from attending the premiere until Clark Gable threatened to boycott the event.
Later in 1939 when she was nominated for Best Supporting Role, the producer, David Selznick had the ban against blacks being allowed in the Coconut Grove in the Ambassador Hotel lifted so she could attend the Oscar Awards ceremony which was being held there. Still, she was forced to sit separately in the back, away from her cast members.
Although she appeared in 300 films, she was given screen credits for only 83. Even after her death, segregation laws struck again when Hollywood Cemetery would not allow her to be buried there.
If you are encouraged by Hattie McDaniel’s story below to make a positive difference in spite of societal barriers, share it in my Facebook group, Your Life Story Matters.