Hattie McDaniel’s Missing Oscar to Be Replaced and Returned to Howard University

Hollywood History: Hattie McDaniel's Oscar Returns to Howard University

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, will bestow a replacement Oscar to honor the legendary Hattie McDaniel at Howard University’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. The momentous event, titled “Hattie’s Come Home,” is scheduled for October 1 at the Ira Aldridge Theater in Washington D.C.

This ceremony aims to celebrate McDaniel’s remarkable life, her groundbreaking Academy Award win, and fulfill her original intention of donating the prize to Howard University. The evening will commence with opening remarks from Phylicia Rashad, Dean of the College of Fine Arts, and feature a captivating performance of songs by current students, along with an excerpt from LaDarrion Williams’ play, “Boulevard of Bold Dreams.”

The prestigious Academy Museum President, Jacqueline Stewart, and Teni Melidonian, Executive Vice President of Oscars Strategy, will present the Oscar to the university. Additionally, Stewart will host an engaging conversation with Dean Phylicia Rashad and distinguished Howard University professors, including Greg Carr, Khalid Long, and Rhea Combs, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Filmmaker and Hattie McDaniel’s great-grandnephew, Kevin John Goff, will also contribute to this insightful discussion.

“Hattie McDaniel was a groundbreaking artist who changed the course of cinema and impacted generations of performers who followed her,” expressed Jacqueline Stewart and Bill Kramer, Academy CEO. “We are thrilled to present a replacement of Hattie McDaniel’s Academy Award to Howard University. This momentous occasion will celebrate Hattie McDaniel’s remarkable craft and historic win.”

Dean Phylicia Rashad enthusiastically shared her sentiments, stating, “I am overjoyed that this Academy Award is returning to what is now the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University. This immense piece of history will be back in the College of Fine Arts for our students to draw inspiration from. Ms. Hattie is coming home!”

Hattie McDaniel made history in 1940 as the first Black person to win a competitive Academy Award for her exceptional supporting performance as “Mammy” in “Gone with the Wind.” The 12th Academy Awards, held at the segregated Cocoanut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel, witnessed her historic achievement. Despite being seated separately from the film’s other nominees, McDaniel delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech that still resonates with audiences today.



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