Ruth Carter Makes History As The First Black Woman To Win Two Oscars

By Brianna Theophile, @itsbriannat

Ruth E. Carter has just made history as the first Black woman to win two Oscars for her outstanding work on the “Black Panther” films.

At the 95th Academy Awards this past Sunday night, she won the award for best costume design for the sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”. She’s previously
made history as the first Black person to win in the category in 2018 for her work on the first film, “Black Panther”.

At this year’s awards, only 6 people of color were nominated – for Best CostumeDesign, Best Original Song, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Visual Effects – out of 23 competing categories.

Additionally, since the award show’s inception, only four other Black Oscar winners have won multiple awards in competing categories; these include actors Denzel Washington and Mahershala Ali and sound mixers Willie D. Burton and Russell Williams II.

Carter won against designers from the films “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, “Babylon”, “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris”, and “Elvis”. In her heartfelt acceptance speech, she paid tribute to both Chadwick Boseman, the first film’s star who tragically passed away in 2020, and to her mother who very recently
passed at the age of 101.

“Thank you to the Academy for recognizing the superhero that is a Black woman. She endures, she loves, and she overcomes, she is every woman in this film. She is my mother,” she said in her speech on Sunday night. “Chadwick, please take care of mom.” Carter played an integral role in breathing life into the world of Wakanda through the outstanding costuming and styling of the characters. She says that working on “Wakanda Forever” was one of the most challenging projects of her career, as she was tasked with molding many of the costumes to work underwater, a challenging feat that she was able to overcome.

As said by Carter herself, she’s pulled herself from the bootstraps to get to where she’s at today.

“I started in a single parent household. I wanted to be a costume designer. I studied. I scraped. I struggled with adversity in an industry that sometimes didn’t look like me. And I endured.” Regarding her win, she also says, “I hope this opens the door for others … that they can win an Oscar, too.”