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Academy of Cinema Offers Replacement for Historic Hattie McDaniel Oscar to Howard University


Tuesday September 26, 2023 8:42 p.m.

ABC7 Eyewitness News

NEW YORK — Hattie McDaniel’s 1939 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Gone With the Wind” is one of the most important moments in Oscar history. McDaniel was the first African American to win an Academy Award, and it would be half a century before another black woman won an acting award again. But it has long been unclear where his reward lies.

Now the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has created a replacement for the legendary Oscar McDaniel that it is donating to Howard University. Upon his death in 1952, McDaniel bequeathed his Oscar to Howard University, where it was on display in the drama department until the late 1960s.

The Academy of Motion Pictures, along with the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, announced Tuesday that the replacement prize will reside in the university’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. The Oscar will be presented during a ceremony titled “Hattie’s Come Home” on October 1 at the university’s Washington, DC campus.

VIDEO: Mammy’s Grave: The Complicated Legacy of the First Black Oscar Winner

“Hattie McDaniel was a revolutionary artist who changed the course of cinema and left her mark on generations of artists who followed her. We are thrilled to present a Hattie McDaniel Oscar replacement at Howard University,” they said. said Academy Museum President Jacqueline Stewart and Bill Kramer. , general director of the academy, in a joint statement. “This momentous occasion will celebrate the remarkable skill and historic victory of Hattie McDaniel.”

McDaniel’s award was a plaque, not a statuette, like all acting winners received from 1936 to 1942. At the 12th Academy Awards, McDaniel sat at a separate table across the room from the Ambassador Hotel.

“I sincerely hope that I always bring honor to my race and to the film industry,” McDaniel said in accepting the award. “My heart is too full to tell you how I feel, and can I say thank you and God bless.”

McDaniel died in 1952 from breast cancer at the age of 59.

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