Tag Archives: Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar Acceptance Speech

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 7.16.48 AMGreetings all,

As I spend the weekend putting the finishing touches on a web course on the Reconstruction Era, I am reminded of this moving speech by film star Hattie McDaniel, the first black person ever to be awarded the Academy Award. In the course, the final segment engages history and popular culture – in particular the film, Gone With the Wind. I focus on McDaniel’s portrayal of Mammy as well as a few notes on the actress herself. She was a fascinating woman off screen – a outspoken supporter of civil rights, she once lobbied the city of Los Angeles to purchase a home in an exclusive all-white neighborhood. Please take a moment to watch this clip – what does it suggest to you about race, historical memory, and Hollywood in 1940?

With compliments,

Keith

PS – the course will be live the week of January 18, 2016

Hattie McDaniel’s Academy Award Acceptance Speech

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 10.44.08 AMBack when I was teaching a course on Reconstruction at UCR, we discussed a few scenes from Gone With the Wind. The discussion included Hattie McDaniel’s portrayal of Mammy as well as a few notes on the actress herself. She was a fascinating woman off the screen – a outspoken supporter of civil rights, she once lobbied the city of Los Angeles to purchase a home in an exclusive all-white neighborhood. We watched her Academy Award acceptance speech for her role as Mammy as well.
What does this suggest to you about race, historical memory, and Hollywood in 1940?

With compliments,

Keith

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The Americanist Independent: A Monthly Journal of United States History