Honoring Hattie McDaniel in her hometown over a century after her birth

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM), the City of Wichita, and KMUW are unveiling a historical marker to honor a Wichita woman on Wednesday.

Hattie McDaniel will be honored with a historical marker on the same Wichita street she was born in back in 1893. The marker will sit where her house once stood at 925 N. Wichita Street.

The marker unveiling is scheduled for Wednesday noon.

“Not only does it designate where her house would have been if it were still standing today, but to tell her story from right here with her humble beginnings of Wichita, Kansas,” said Denise Sherman, TKAAM executive director.

Carla Eckels is the director of Cultural Diversity, News and Engagement at KMUW. She says the idea of a historical marker came about after she could not find the original one while doing a story about McDaniel in 2019.

“Once the story aired, so many people responded saying, ‘Carla, what can we do? How can we get a marker? What do we need to do? What do we need to contribute?’”

Both Sherman and Eckels say they are happy to honor McDaniel’s trailblazing efforts.

“She was an activist in Los Angeles in terms of housing and she fought segregation and won,” Eckels said.

“She also was a blessing to many other people, not only in the film, and in the entertainment industry, but she also paved way for educating others,” Sherman said.

McDaniel is known for being the first Black woman to win an Academy Award for her role in “Gone with the Wind.”

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