Hattie McDaniel’s Long Missing Oscar Award to be Replaced by Academy

Hattie McDaniel's Long Missing Oscar Award to be Replaced by Academy

(DailyDig.com) – The Academy will finally replace Hattie McDaniel’s missing Oscar after decades since it vanished from Howard University.

McDaniel made history when she took home the Oscar, being the first person of African descent to do so. In 1964, Sidney Poitier joined her as the second. Until Whoopi Goldberg won the same award for “Ghost” in 1991, she was the sole black actress to win it.

On September 19, the Academy shared an announcement that the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts in Howard University will get a replica of the original plaque honoring the “Gone With the Wind” actress for winning Best Actress, Supporting, in 1940.

On October 1, in a ceremony they named “Hattie’s Come Home,” the award will be presented in Washington, D.C., at Howard University’s Ira Aldridge Theater. The ceremony will include remarks from actress Phylicia Rashad, Dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.

During her time as a student in the Department of Drama (as it was then known), Rashad claimed she often sat in awe in front of the Academy Award, which had been handed to Ms. Hattie McDaniel and was later donated to the College of Fine Arts.

McDaniel had instructions in her will for her Oscar plaque to be given to Howard University in 1952 after she died, however, it was lost in the 1960s. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Hollywood recognizes this with an empty case reserved just for McDaniel’s Oscar, among a row of other awards that were loaned to the museum. It was widely speculated that the plaque had been stolen or thrown into the adjacent Potomac River during the riots that broke out after the killing of Martin Luther King, Jr.

W. Burlette Carter, a historian, has made great efforts to locate the missing plaque, and she has expressed optimism that it will be located one day. It’s not necessarily about Hattie McDaniel, but the Oscar itself symbolizes black America.

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