Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler became the first African-Americans to win the Academy Award for costume design and production design respectively for “Black Panther” at the 91st annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Carter, who dedicated the award to her 97-year-old mother, thanked Spike Lee for her career start in the film “School Daze” in 1988.
Beachler helped design the cinematic world of Wakanda, the fictional homeland of the main character. She thanked ‘Black Panther” film director Ryan Coogler for making her “a better designer, a better storyteller, a better person.” She said that she is stronger because Marvel gave her a chance.
Beachler and Carter played important roles in making “Black Panther” a cultural phenomenon. Carter said that costume design turned the black superhero into an African king. She got ideas about the film’s stylish and colorful garments from her travels to Africa.
“We wanted to bring the world of Africa to life,” said Beachler who admitted she was still “freaking out” after her win.
Carter hopes that their historic Oscar wins will open up more doors for other African-Americans who want to work in the film industry.
“Now we won’t have to wait for the first,” Carter said. “Finally the door is wide open.”