Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel

by Michael Feeley February 20, 2024


WHY AM I writing about American actress, singer, and comedian Hattie McDaniel? Because she was a brave leader and great artist who never should have experienced the racism and racial segregation she lived with throughout her life and career.

This post is about diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, freedom, and leadership.

Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to be nominated for an Academy Award and then to win the Oscar in 1939 for Best Supporting Actress for her role as ‘Mammy’ in the movie Gone with the Wind.

– Because of the Jim Crow Laws (Southern racial segregation enforced until 1965), she was banned from attending the premiere of Gone with the Wind in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Loew’s Grand Theatre because it was a whites-only theater.

– At the Oscar ceremony, held at the Cocoanut Grove restaurant of the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, which had a strict
no-Blacks policy, she sat at the side of the room, against the wall, with her white business manager William Meiklejohn. Studio head and producer of Gone with the Wind, David O. Selznick, had to write a petition for Hattie McDaniel to be allowed into the hotel.

– When she took the stage to accept her Oscar, she was the only black woman in the room.

Here are some of her words from her acceptance speech:

“Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, fellow members of the motion picture industry and honored guests: This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting me for one of their awards, for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble; and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be able to do in the future. 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.”

This link will connect you with her actual filmed acceptance:

In 1952, Hattie McDaniel died of breast cancer and wanted to be buried in Hollywood Cemetery but was denied because
the graveyard was restricted to whites only at the time.


Diversity – the presence of differences in any given setting.

Equity – fairness and impartiality provide equal outcomes for every person.

Inclusion – the practice of ensuring that people feel they belong anywhere.


Thanks – Michael (he, him)

Please share this Daily with your tribes.
This is also important – Prejudice and Discrimination – The Difference.


(photo Google image – Entertainment Weekly)

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