Hattie McDaniel was the first Black person to win an Academy Award for her supporting performance as Mammy in the 1939 film “Gone with the Wind.”
The replacement Oscar will be presented to Howard University’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts on October 1 in a special ceremony titled “Hattie’s Come Home.” This event will honor McDaniel’s legacy and her impact on the film industry.
According to the academy, McDaniel and her guest sat separately from the other nominees at the segregated 12th Academy Awards ceremony in 1940 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
“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.”
McDaniel received a plaque instead of a statue at the time of her win. That was common for supporting performance winners between 1936 and 1942, according to the academy.
When she died in 1952, she left her Oscar to Howard University, where it was displayed in the theatre department until the late 1960s, according to the academy. However, the coveted award mysteriously disappeared and its whereabouts are unknown.
“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,” Jacqueline Stewart, Academy Museum president, and Bill Kramer, chief executive of the academy, said in a joint statement. “This momentous occasion will celebrate Hattie McDaniel’s remarkable craft and historic win.”