During her speech, Mo'Nique also took a moment to honor a Hollywood trailblazer who paved the way for African-American actors—Hattie McDaniel. In 1939, Hattie became the first African-American to win an Oscar of any kind for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind.

Like Hattie, Mo'Nique wore gardenias in her hair at the ceremony.

"I carry her. Last night was really special because I could hear her whispering in my ear," Mo'Nique says. "Because of her, it's why you sit where you sit. I sit where I sit. Sandra sits where she sits. She did so much for all of us. So I'm very proud."


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