On March 12th, 2023, Ruth E. Carter made history as the first black woman to win two Academy Awards for Best Costume Design. Carter, who had previously won the award in 2019 for her work on “Black Panther,” won again for her incredible designs in the 2022 sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”.
Carter’s work on the Black Panther series is nothing short of breathtaking. The films, which are set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, required intricate and detailed costumes that captured the essence of African culture and traditions with a modern superhero twist. Carter worked closely with the film’s director, Ryan Coogler, to bring the vision to life. The costumes were not only beautiful to look at but were also culturally accurate, capturing the nuances of African culture.
Carter’s win was a momentous occasion, not only for her but for the entire black community. Black women have been underrepresented and overlooked, both in front and behind the camera, in the film industry for decades, and Carter’s win was a significant step forward in recognizing their contributions and talents. Carter has paved the way for future black women to be recognized and appreciated for their work in costume design and other areas of filmmaking.
In her acceptance speech, Carter thanked her ancestors, who she said “paved the way for me and for all the opportunities that I have been given.” She also acknowledged the importance of representation and diversity in film. “Marvel may have created the first black superhero, but through costume design, we turned him into an African king.”
Ruth Carter becoming the first black women to win two Oscars is more than an historical footnote. Carter’s win is a reminder that hard work, talent, and perseverance can lead to great accomplishments. She is an inspiration to all young women, especially young black women, who aspire to work in the film industry. Carter’s legacy will continue to inspire future generations of filmmakers, and her work will be remembered and celebrated for years to come.
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Written by @TalentedMrFord