Who is the First Black Oscar Award Winner? Hattie McDaniel

On February 29, 1940, Gone with the Wind won eight Oscars, including the award for best supporting actress for the First African American to win the award in Hollywood.

1. Oscar Winner
The epic of the American Civil War romance Gone with the Wind (Gone with the Wind) based on the book of the same title, won the awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best editing and Best actress.

The most important moment was when the actress Hattie McDaniel won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Mammy, the maid and exesclava. It was the first black person to win an Oscar.

2. Life and career
Born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1895, McDaniel showed his talent as an actress and singer during his childhood in Denver, Colorado. He left school as a teenager to become an actress itinerant groups called “minstrel groups” (these were groups of indigenous musical theater US, then emerged from the Civil War, were made of black or white actors with faces painted black, representing caricatures of African-American characters. in the 20th century women joined the cast. the most famous of these characters was Jim Crow).

In 1924 he was the first African American to sing on the radio in the US. During the years of the Great Depression he worked as a cleaner in women’s toilets of a club Milwaukee. There, although only hired white artists, they made an exception and let her sing on stage for a year, until he went to Hollywood.

In Los Angeles, he landed a small role in the local radio program The Optimistic Do-Nuts soon became the main attraction of the show. In 1932 he made his film debut with the film The Golden West, where she played a maid. In the films of the era blacks were relegated to roles of servants and McDaniel joined the stereotype.

He appeared in roles as a maid in nearly 40 films in the 1930s.

3. Reviews
This brought criticism from groups fighting for the civil rights, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), who considered was perpetuating a stereotype.

The actress responded to these criticisms he preferred to make a maid on the screen than in real life. Over time, she tried to counter this stereotype characters independent building maidservants, opinionated often made uncomfortable criticisms put whites.

Upon receiving the Oscar, was also the target of criticism from liberal African-Americans who saw with rejection the role of an African American who, having been a slave, he spoke nostalgically of past South.

4. Return to the radio
McDaniel’s career in cinema declined in the late 1940s and in 1947 returned to radio as protagonist of The Beulah Show national program. There he turned again to represent an effervescent servant in the south, but in a non-stereotypical way, which earned him the recognition of the NAACP. In 1951, during the filming of a version of the show for television, she had a heart attack. He recovered and managed to make some more radio programs, but died of breast cancer in 1952 at age 57.

The stereotype

“I’d rather do a maid on the screen than in real life,” Hatty McDaniel With britannica.com information, biography.com, history.co

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