Hattie McDaniel who played Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939) won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the first African American to win an Academy Award.
Her acceptance speech is still considered one of the finest speeches ever given on the Academy floor. "Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, fellow members of the motion picture industry and honored guests: This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting me for one of their awards, for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble; and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel, and may I say thank you and God bless you.”
— Hattie McDaniel: Acceptance Speech delivered on February 29, 1940, at the 12th Annual Academy Awards