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Hattie McDaniel, 1st Black Oscar winner, thanks Academy for its 'kindness'

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In 1940, at the 12th Academy Awards, Hattie McDaniel was named Best Supporting Actress for her role in Gone With the Wind. Wearing a turquoise, rhinestone-studded gown with a gardenia in her hair, the 44-year-old actress accepted her gold statuette at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel just 75 years ago. It was nearly seven decades ago that McDaniel’ paved the way for 13 fellow Blacks to win Oscars including: Denzel Washington, Cuba Gooding Jr., Louis Gossett Jr., Forest Whitaker, Sidney Poitier, Jamie Foxx, Morgan Freeman, Halle Berry, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Hudson, Octavia Spencer, Mo’Nique and Lupita Nyong’o. Check out her humble and inspiring acceptance speech above.


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