Last night at the 91st Annual Academy Awards saw Ruth E. Carter make history as the first African-American woman to win an award for Best Costume Design.
Ruth who was first nominated for an Oscar in 1993 for Spike Lee’s Malcolm X had made history as the first black person to ever be nominated in that category. She didn’t win at the time, nor the second time she was nominated. But last night, she clinched the award for her work designing the iconic costumes for Marvel’s multiple award-winning film, ‘Black Panther’.
Taking to the stage to accept her award, she started off acknowledging that this has been a long time coming, and thanked Spike Lee for giving her a start all those years ago.
“I got it. Wow, this has been a long time coming. Spike Lee, thank you for my start, I hope this makes you proud.”
“Marvel may have created the first black superhero, but through costume design, we turned him into an African king.
She also thanked the movie’s director Ryan Coogler for being a guiding force and trusting her to deliver.
Ruth wasn’t the only black woman who made history on the night. Hannah Beachler, who worked as the Production Designer on Black Panther also won an Oscar for her work making her the first black woman to ever get a nomination and win for Production Design.
Hannah also thanked the film’s director for giving her the opportunity to work with him. She said:
“I stand here stronger than I was yesterday. I stand here with agency and self-worth because of Ryan Coogler. You not only made me a better designer, a better storyteller, a better person, I stand here because of this man who offered me a different perspective of life, who offered me a safe space, who’s patient and gave me air, humanity and brotherhood.”