Hattie McDaniel’s Historic ‘Gone With The Wind’ Oscar To Be Replaced At Howard University

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday that a replacement for Hattie McDaniel’s historic Best Supporting Actress Oscar will be gifted to Howard University.

McDaniel made history as the first Black person to win an Academy Award for her supporting performance as Mammy in the 1939 film “Gone with the Wind.” 

The actress bequeathed her award Howard upon her death in 1952 but it went missing in the late 1960s after being displayed in the university’s drama department.

Thanks to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, a replacement of McDaniel’s Oscar is coming to Howard University’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.

To commemorate the “replacement” Oscar, the HBCU will host a ceremony titled “Hattie’s Come Home” on October 1 at the Ira Aldridge Theater. According to a press statement, the event will include opening remarks by Phylicia Rashad, Dean of Fine Arts, a performance of a medley of songs from current students and faculty, and an excerpt of “Boulevard of Bold Dreams,” a play by LaDarrion Williams.

Representatives of the Academy and the Academy Museum will be at the ceremony, including Jacqueline Stewart, Ph.D., Director and President of the Academy Museum, and Executive Vice President of Oscars Strategy Teni Melidonian, who will present the plaque to the university

In a statement, Rashad reflected on her time at Howard and what the gift means to the community. “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, which she had gifted to the College of Fine Arts,” expressed Rashad.

“I am overjoyed that this Academy Award is returning to what is now the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University,” said Rashad. “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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