On February 28th

1940, Hattie McDaniel
became the first
African American artist
to win an
Academy Award.

It would be
another 50 years
before a second
black actress
would win an

How can the newest generation of artists flip the culture of the Entertainment Industry to represent, honor and respect all performers?

In what ways does acknowledging past injustices help correct the future?

How can young performers inspire others to be fair and supportive?

Hattie McDaniel Estate


To help young artists develop their powerful gift of stardom, the Young Artist Academy™ is partnering with the Estate of legendary Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel to inspire empathy and respect for all in the Entertainment Industry.

As with all sensitive topics, parents are encouraged to become familiar themselves with the history of Entertainment’s remarkable trailblazers, and have meaningful age-appropriate family discussions about how young stars can encourage respect and kindness for all.


Read & Watch biographies about those who pioneered the way for others

Discuss with your parents the struggles such pioneers endured and overcame that led to better ways of doing things

Inquire of your agent, manager or publicist about ways you can show your support for the conversation within the Industry

Express gratitude and love to those you personally know who are continuing to trail-blaze an easier path for others with their own work

Participate in the Academy’s “Thank You Hattie Project” by making your own video of support

Inspiring change in dignified ways is a big responsibility
that comes with stardom.

Much begins with education, family discussion, and exploring the perspectives of others

In Grateful Partnership with the 
Hattie McDaniel Estate

Although the world of her time was painfully unappreciative of the talent and contributions of Hattie McDaniel, her legacy lives on in every grateful generation since. 

The Young Artist Academy™ is pleased to collaborate with the Hattie McDaniel Estate to inspire, motivate and support all rising stars. 

 Kevin J. Goff

Filmmaker & family member of Hattie McDaniel


 Deborah Osmani

Actress & Young Artist
Academy™ Member


 Franiya Tiffany

Actress & Young Artist
Academy™ Member


 Ines Feghouli

Actress & Young Artist
Academy™ Member


 Joshua Packard

Actor & Young Artist
Academy™ Member


 Juliette Maxyme Proulx

Actress & Young Artist
Academy™ Member


 Maya Jai Pinson

Actress & Young Artist
Academy™ Member


 Mathieu Silverman

Actor & Young Artist
Academy™ Member


 Neli Kastrinos

Actress & Young Artist
Academy™ Member


 Sammy Voit

Actor & Young Artist
Academy™ Member


 Samuel Warren CSA

Casting Director
Academy Board Advisor


We’re pleased to share a curated list of recommended films suggested by Academy Members.

It is our wish that the lessons lend toward meaningful family discussions and inspiring celebrity voices and lifestyles of kindness and empathy.

Gone With The Wind

Rated PG
For Teens
History Romance Drama
Run Time - 3hr 58min

Based on a 1930s novel, Gone with the Wind chronicles the American Civil War from the point of view of a glamorous, unstoppable Southern belle.

Parents Note: As a film based during wartime, there are several scenes of war-related violence, including wounded soldiers dying.

Hattie Fact: In the weeks after the film was released, Hattie McDaniel presented her producers with the beaming reviews for her performance and asked to put her name in the running for the best supporting actress Oscar.

The rest is history.

Possible Family Discussion for Hattie McDaniel Day

How did Mammy (played by Hattie McDaniel) speak honestly and keep the situation in perspective?

How did Scarlett’s vanity distract her from important issues, and what did Mammy try to warn?

How did Scarlet break expectations of her time by becoming a successful business woman?

In real life, Hattie McDaniel broke expectations of her time. How can you too create change?

Post No Bills

Rated G
For All Ages
Family Animation
Run Time - 6min

Noodle Boy must face his fears and ends up saving not only himself.

Hattie Fact: The first black artist to sing on radio, Hattie McDaniel bravely left a comfortable career with CBS Radio to pursue live theater and film acting. Facing her fears and taking the leap led to great successes, and opened the way for many more performers of color to become stars in Entertainment.

Possible Family Discussion for Hattie McDaniel Day

What fears did Noodle Boy have?

What was the outcome when Noodle Boy decided to be brave and help someone else?

In what ways was Hattie McDaniel brave in her dreams to be a great actress?

Who else did Hattie help by being brave?

How can you be brave with your dreams?

The Beulah Show

Rated G
For All Ages
Run Time - 25min/episode

An early situation comedy about an African-American housekeeper and cook who pulls the weekly family situations together with more common sense than all of the other family members.

The show is notable for being the first sitcom to star an African-American actress, for being ABC's first hit TV comedy, and the first hit sitcom without a laugh track.

Parental Note: The show was controversial for its caricatures of African-Americans.

Watch all episodes on
TV Guide 

Hattie Fact: The role of Beulah was originally written for a caucasian actor. When Hattie McDaniel took over the role, she doubled the ratings of the original series and pleased the NAACP which was elated to see a historic first: a black woman as the star of a network program.

Possible Family Discussion for Hattie McDaniel Day

Importance of not judging others by their appearance.

In what ways did Beulah (played by Hattie McDaniel) miraculously save the day by demonstrating wit and persistence?

In what ways did Beulah’s employers consistently underestimate her? Why is it important not to underestimate or look down on others?

What can result in persevering despite initial setbacks?


Rated G
For All Ages
Family Animation
run Time - 4min

A machine lands on a lifeless planet and brings it its first life.

Hattie Fact: The youngest child of slaves, Hattie knew she wanted to be an actress at the age of six. For her entire life, she successfully pursued that passion and created ways for many more to thrive in the pursuit of their own dreams.

Possible Family Discussion for Hattie McDaniel Day

Even though the environment was not hospitable, what efforts did the robot make?

How did the environment change because of the hard work of the robot?

How has the Entertainment Industry changed because of the hard work of Hattie McDaniel?

What good things do you want others to experience because of “your” hard work?

The Little Colonel

Rated G
For All Ages
Family Musical
Run Time - 1hr 21min

Adapted from a children’s novel and starring Shirley Temple, the Little Colonel focuses on reconciliation of an estranged father and daughter in the years following the American Civil War.

Hattie Fact: The Little Colonel was Hattie McDaniel’s first feature film.

Possible Family Discussion for Hattie McDaniel Day

What perspective did Mom Beck (played by Hattie McDaniel) bring when she told the back story of little Lloyd’s family?

Why is it important to acknowledge how feelings are hurt, even if it was a long time ago, as with Lloyd’s grandfather?

Why does everyone benefit when peace is made?

A Ballerina’s Tale

Rated PG
For Teens
Run Time - 1hr 25min

This documentary examines race and body image in the elite ballet world with the rise of African-American ballerina Misty Copeland. She was the first principal dancer at New York's American Ballet Theater.

For ages 9 and older. Stream or buy on Amazon.

Hattie Fact: In addition to racial prejudices, early-Hollywood asserted that an actor should be “either” comedic or dramatic. Hattie McDaniel produced her own projects in order to demonstrate her full range as an artist. 

Possible Family Discussion for Hattie McDaniel Day

What lack of diversity exists in many fields of Entertainment?

Like Hattie McDaniel, what ways does Misty persist in her craft?

What are good ways to overcome body image stereotypes in your field?

What are some challenges in your craft that you personally face? Who in your family or circle can help you? What would you like them to do?

Ice Breakers

Rated PG
For Teens
Sports Documentary
Run Time - 15min

The Canadian Black Hockey League inspires a rising hockey star, Josh Crooks, to pursue his dreams in a sport where Black players like him are underrepresented. Ice Breakers reveals the buried history of a pioneering Black hockey league in Canada, as Crooks discovers that his unshakable passion is tied to a rich and remarkable heritage.

Possible Family Discussion for Hattie McDaniel Day

Why shouldn’t someone be afraid to stand out?

Why is a good attitude incredibly powerful?

How can learning about one’s heritage give strength?

In what ways do you think Hattie McDaniel got strength from her heritage?

Hidden Figures

Rated  PG
For Teens
History Drama
Run Time - 2hr 7min

The story of a team of mostly unknown female African-American mathematicians who played such an important role at NASA, they served as the brains behind one of the greatest space operations in U.S. history.

Facing racism and sexism with dignity and resolve in a world dominated by white men, three women quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside some of history's greatest minds.

Hattie Fact:In 1914, Hattie McDaniel created her own show to combat the offensive dialect of the time and sought to change the narrative of black characters. As an Executive Producer of the show, she gave opportunities to other aspiring black entertainers in a dignified project.

Possible Family Discussion for Hattie McDaniel Day

Why is it important to have a support group?

How is it helpful to focus on what you can control -- instead of only what you can’t control?

What value is there on being persistent to meet key people and not depending on the gatekeepers?

What do you appreciate about Hattie McDaniel being the first black woman Executive Producer so that she could control the narrative around her?

The Colour of Beauty

Rated PG
For Teens
Run Time - 18min

Renee Thompson is trying to make it as a top fashion model in New York. She's got the looks, the walk and the drive. But she’s a black model in a world where white women represent the standard of beauty when Agencies rarely hire black models.

Hattie Fact: It is well documented that Hattie was always in the latest fashion. In 2010 when actress Mo'Nique won an Oscar for her performance in "Precious," she wore white gardenias in her hair — just as Hattie did in 1940 when she accepted her Academy Award. She thanked McDaniel in her acceptance speech "...for enduring all that she had to, so that I would not have to."

Possible Family Discussion for Hattie McDaniel Day

Why do you think systemic racism is such a problem in the Entertainment Industry?

As the next Generation creating Entertainment, what changes would you like to see? What would it take for that to happen?

What part can you play in creating that change, even if others may criticize you for it?

Although Hattie McDaniel was criticized by some for playing offensive roles of the time, how did she flip things around to spark conversation and champion better roles for performers of color?

To learn more about Hollywood’s Longest Running Youth Awards, visit our Official Site at YoungArtistAcademy.org or follow us @YoungArtistAwds

To become a member, visit the FAQ page of our Official Site

© 2021 Young Artist Academy™
All Rights Reserved

LEGAL REMINDERS - The Young Artist Academy™ reminds families that California Law requires publicists, managers, acting coaches and headshot photographers who work with child performers to obtain a Child Performer Services Permit. Please be thorough and insist on this protective measure when making new Industry Connections.

THE YOUNG ARTIST ACADEMY™ - is bonded and in full compliance with the Krekorian Talent Act, an expansion of the California Advance Fee Talent Service Law.

IN COMPLIANCE - with California Legislature Sections 1286 to 1289 and Assembly Bill 1660, the Academy's annual awards show is produced by Stage Managers, Directors, Writers and Producers carrying Child Performer Services Permits.

While no process is perfect, this is one that we take seriously and are committed to constantly improving. Rigorous protocols created exclusively by and for the Young Artist Academy™ have received praise as the new "gold standard" for youth awards organizations. We remain community-minded and committed to our obligations in this area. We welcome respectful inquiries, questions, and concerns at Info@YoungArtistAcademy.org