6 surprising things Anne Frank and Hattie McDaniel have in common
Anne Frank and Hattie McDaniel were both born in June. But they have more in common than a birth month.
Frank and McDaniel were both women who dared. Let’s explore 6 things these daring women had in common.
1. They were both writers. Anne Frank is best known for writing Diary of a Young Girl. It details the time she and her family were hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Hattie McDaniel was a songwriter. She began her career in show business as a singer. Along with her work in film, McDaniel has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her radio work.
2. They lived through the 1930’s. Anne Frank and Hattie McDaniel both managed to survive the Great Depression. McDaniel was 36 years older than Frank, but they both faced adversity. They lived through the worst global economic decline of the twentieth century.
3. Their work won film awards. Hattie McDaniel is best known for being the first African American to win an Academy Award. She won the award for best supporting actor in 1940. Anne Frank’s work became a major motion picture. The movie based on her diary won three Academy awards in 1960.
4. They both were honored with postage stamps. In 2006, the US Postal Service issued a 39 cent stamp with the image of Hattie McDaniel. Anne Frank’s image has been featured on postage stamps in Germany, the Netherlands, Israel and Montserrat.
5. They both died tragic deaths. Anne Frank died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. She was only 15 years old. Hattie McDaniel died of breast cancer in 1952. She was only 59 years old.
6. They worked through state sanctioned persecution. While Anne Frank only wrote one book: think of the fortitude and courage it took to create under her circumstances. Hattie McDaniel appeared in over 300 films, but received screen credits for less than 1/3 of them. Due to racist Jim Crow laws in the US, McDaniel was not allowed to attend the premiere for the movie in which she won the Academy Award. Further, she had to sit at a segregated table during the Oscar ceremony.
Many might choose to believe that Anne Frank and Hattie McDaniel didn’t have a lot in common. They were from two different continents. They were different races. They weren’t in the same age group.
But they each shared their gifts with the world and made a lasting contribution to art. And they did so under extreme persecution and prejudice.
Instead of focusing on differences, it’s often worthwhile to reflect on the factors that we all have in common. Even though we may be different from each other, we can achieve harmony by finding and celebrating our commonalities.
What else do two people who seem very different have in common with each other?