In 1939 (73 years ago) Hattie McDaniel was the first Black woman to win an Academy Award for her performance in Gone With The Wind. Ms. McDaniel played a loyal maid in a time where roles for women of color were few and far between. Hattie was widely criticized for playing a maid, but without her inner strength, it’s unclear what our legacy as a people would be now. Certainly, she has enriched my life. Her incredible feat defied racism, hatred, segregation and civil uncertainty and unrest.
In my eyes, Hattie McDaniel is a “shero.” She is the sole reason that Halle Berry, Whoopi Goldberg, Mo’nique, and Octavia Spencer, etc. (all Oscar recipients) can proudly wear their crowns of being legendary and fabulous Black women of film. I appreciate all the incredible women I have to admire and aspire to be like. I will strive to recover from my many missteps and win my fans over again despite the people who laugh when I stumble instead of offering me a hand. I hope that I can find a man who loves me for me. But in the meantime, I’ll continue to be strong and humble and not let anyone steal my shine in order to gain fame off my misfortunes.
I’m Kenya Moore. I’m 41 and fabulous! My age, race, religion, social economic standing, and marital status are not indicators of my past, present, or future as I too can defy the odds just like Hattie. I am bold. I am humble. I am strong. I am complicated. I am complex. I am vulnerable. I am resilient. I am good. I am honest --That’s what makes me fabulous.