Academy To Replace Hattie McDaniel's Historic Missing Oscar

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will replace a missing Oscar belonging to Hattie McDaniels, the first Black person to win the prestigious award.

On Tuesday (September 26), the organization announced that it posthumously honor McDaniel by gifting her "replacement" Oscar to the Howard University Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts during a ceremony titled “Hattie’s Come Home” on October 1, per CNN.

The posthumous honor comes after McDaniel made history as the first Black performer to win an Academy Award in 1940. McDaniel won best supporting actress for her role as Mammy in 1939’s Gone with the Wind.

During the awards ceremony, McDaniel was seated separately from the film's other nominees at the segregated Cocoanut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel.

McDaniel said in her acceptance speech that her win “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. I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry.”

The history-maker died in 1952 and her award was bequeathed to Howard University. The award was on display in the university's drama department until it mysteriously disappeared at some point during the late 1960s.

Phylicia Rashad, Dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University, recalled admiring the award when she was a student at the university.

“When I was a student in the College of Fine Arts at Howard University, in what was then called the Department of Drama, I would often sit and gaze in wonder at the Academy Award that had been presented to Ms. Hattie McDaniel,” Rashad said in a statement. “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!”

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