Hattie McDaniel made history as the first Black actor to win an Academy Award, for her role as Mammy in “Gone with the Wind.”

Now, visitors passing her child- hood home near 9th St. and Waco in Wichita can read all about her.

A colorful new memorial show- casing the actor’s life and career was dedicated March 31 at 925 N.

Wichita, across the street from where McDaniel once lived. It replaces a trail marker dedicated there by The Kansas African American Museum in 2011, which was removed after the sign’s sponsor went out of business.

About 100 people gathered near

here today accept her. You under- stand. You try to hold back the tears, for you were born in that everyday kind of pain that she knew all too well.”

The new marker relates McDaniel’s remarkable history: Her father, Henry McDaniel, was a former slave who fought in the Civil War. He moved his family to Manhattan, Kansas, and then to a portion of Wichita previously known as Hattie McDaniel and husband James Lloyd Crawford arrive at the 1939 Oscars. (Above) Denise Sherman, executive director of The Kansas African American Museum, and Carla Eckels, KMUW’s director of cultural diversity, news and engagement, stand at the site of the Hattie McDaniel marker at 925 N. Wichita, across the street from where McDaniel once lived.

the new marker on a sunny afternoon to remember McDaniel and honor her life. Among them was Ebony Clemons-Ajibolade, who read an original poem, “Black Not Accepted,” by Kevin John Goff, a descendant of McDaniel’s.

“But Wichita accepts her,” Clemons-Ajibolade read. “All of you here today accept her. You understand. You try to hold back the tears, for you were born in that everyday kind of pain that she knew all too well.”

The new marker relates McDaniel’s remarkable history: Her father, Henry McDaniel, was a former slave who fought in the Civil War. He moved his family to Manhattan, Kansas, and then to a portion of Wichita previously he “Black District,” where Hattie was born in was know as the “BLACK DISTRICT ” we Hattie was born .

The youngest of 13 children, McDaniel moved with her family to Colorado when she was 5. She began her career in vaudeville and was a talented singer, songwriter, play- wright, dancer, radio show host and comedienne.

When “Gone with the Wind” was set to be released in 1939, the producer scheduled a gala premiere in Atlanta, the hometown of author Margaret Mitchell. Because of Jim Crow laws in effect at the time, McDaniel and other Black actors were denied entrance to the premiere, and their photos were removed from a souvenir program.

Denise Sherman, executive director of the Kansas African American Museum, choked up toward the end of the dedication ceremony as she reflected on McDaniel’s career and its impact on Black history.

“I want to really share with you how blessed we are today,” Sherman said. “That we can come together and recognize an awesome African-American woman who endured so much but left a positive legacy for all of us.” 

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