When Hattie McDaniel became the first black actress to win an Oscar for her supporting role in Gone With The Wind, she and her husband had to sit at a segregated table near the back of the Coconut Grove, where the ceremony was held. Her career had been based on playing sassy maids. Though criticised for conforming to stereotype roles she famously said, “I’d rather receive $700 a week for playing a maid than $7.00 a week for being one.”
Queen Latifah who plays Hattie McDaniel in the new Netflix series, Hollywood, said “Let Gone With The Wind be gone with the wind.”
Lena Horne was turned down for the role of Miss Julie in Show Boat. The role called for a beautiful black singer passing for white but Lena Horne did not get it because she was black. Go figure? Both actresses had performed at one time or another with BoJangles, who was responsible for Dallas hiring the first African American police officer and for desegregating Miami audiences for a public event . There were many others too who managed to stand out and stand tall but now it seems it’s time to stand firm.
By Renee Lou Dallow