About Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel was a pioneering African American actress in Hollywood during a time when racial segregation and discrimination were pervasive in the industry.

She achieved fame for her talent and became the first African American to win an Academy Award. In 1940, McDaniel won an Academy Award for her supporting role as Mammy in the film "Gone with the Wind." This historic win marked the first time an African American actor had received an Oscar. Her victory was a significant milestone for Black representation in the film industry.

McDaniel's success in Hollywood opened doors for other Black actors and actresses and paved the way for greater representation in the entertainment industry.

McDaniel's portrayal of Mammy in "Gone with the Wind" and her Oscar win, while controversial in some aspects due to the character's portrayal, still left a lasting impact on American culture. The film remains a classic, and McDaniel's performance is widely recognized.

McDaniel's legacy continues to be celebrated today as a symbol of the importance of representation and diversity in the entertainment industry. Her story reminds us of the challenges faced by Black actors during her time and the progress that has been made since then.

While Hattie McDaniel faced criticism for playing roles that perpetuated racial stereotypes

Her contributions to the entertainment industry and her pioneering spirit in a racially segregated Hollywood era are undeniably relevant and continue to be acknowledged and studied in the context of the history of African Americans in film and the broader struggle for civil rights and representation.

Why I wrote The Queen of Sugar Hill....

I felt an interminable connection to Hattie McDaniel because of her perseverance – in SPITE OF….In spite of criticism from Blacks, who hated her “demeaning” Mammy character. In spite of hatred from whites, who felt Mammy was too sassy. 

In spite of being pigeonholed into maid, servant, and slave roles and nearly 100 unaccredited films. In spite of never feeling seen. 

In spite of everything, she forged ahead. 

That was something that endeared me to her, and made me determined to tell her story.

The facts behind The Queen of Sugar Hill

While the foundation of The Queen of Sugar Hill is rooted in facts, derived from years of research on Hattie McDaniel, writing historical fiction entails filling in the blanks of her life that we don’t know. 

Join Newsletter

Have you signed up for my newsletter? If so, thank you! If not, what are you waiting on?
Be the first one to know when a new novel is released, get sneak peeks and stay in the know.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram