Hattie McDaniel
Actress, First African-American Academy Award Winner

Hattie McDaniel was the daughter of freed slaves, and the first African American to win an Oscar, for her supporting role in the epic Civil War drama Gone With the Wind

Hattie grew up in Denver, where performing was a pathway out of poverty. She left East High School to join her brother’s vaudeville company, touring small Western towns. McDaniel launched an innovative all-female “black-face” minstrel show in 1919, creating her trademark comedic character, an assertive “Mammy,” who critiqued racial and gender stereotypes. McDaniel landed her role as a house slave in Gone With the Wind in 1939. Although segregation laws prevented her from attending the movie’s premiere, she enjoyed cheers and a standing ovation when she accepted her Oscar.

“A woman's gifts will make room for her.” — Hattie McDaniel


  • Title: Hattie McDaniel

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