Designer Ruth E. Carter made history at last night’s 95th annual Academy Awards. Carter won the Oscar for Best Costume Design for her work on the Marvel sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Carter previously won the award in 2019 for costuming the cast of Black Panther. Last night, she became the first Black woman to win two Oscars.
Carter used her acceptance speech to honor Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman (who died of colon cancer in 2020 at 43) and her late mother Mabel Carter, who died last week. “Thank you to the Academy for recognizing the superhero that is a Black woman. She endures. She loves. She overcomes. She is every woman in this film. She is my mother. This past week Mabel Carter became an ancestor. This film prepared me for this moment. Chadwick, please take care of mom.”
Carter thanked Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and producer Nate Moore for their vision: “Together, we are changing the way our culture is represented.” (Indeed. According to the New York Times, Carter used 3-D printing technology to create the halo-like crown worn by Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) in the film, and she found inspiration in African Indigenous tribes to design the clothing.) Carter concluded by dedicating the award to her late mom: “This is for my mother. She was 101.”