Fact 4 of the month goes to Ms. Hattie McDaniel. She was the first black person and WOMAN at that, to win an Oscar Award in 1940, for her supporting role in the 1939 movie Gone With The Wind.
Hattie played a house servant in the film and was criticized for roles that she had taken playing stereotypical characters such as that. She had been attacked by the black community and even the media for accepting roles that perpetrated blacks in negative stereotype.
The topic got even more intense when the president of the NAACP at the time, Walter White, had pleaded with black actors telling them to stop accepting stereotypical roles because they are degrading the black community. Hattie spoke out saying that black people playing such character proved themselves as more than just measuring up to their employers.
She opened the door for black actors and actresses but even to this day SOME actors and actresses of color seem to only win Oscars for roles like a slave, servant, a dirty cop and even a poor, black, bitter, abusive mother. There are some positive roles that were recognized to get a Oscar BUT not many actors and actresses have been recognized for positive roles in movies. Check out my post are the #OscarWhiteout this year:
Be on the lookout for fact 5.
Featured image photo credit: earhustle411.com