Ruth E Carter becomes First Black Woman to Win Two Oscars


Ruth E Carter has cemented her place in history as the first Black woman to win two Academy Awards.

Best known for her work as the costume designer on the Marvel film Black Panther, Carter made history in 2019 when she became the first Black person to win in the costume design category.

This year, she has been recognized for her achievement on the sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, beating out stiff competition to secure her second Oscar.

In her acceptance speech, Carter spoke about the adversity she had faced throughout her career and the importance of her win for other aspiring Black costume designers. “I pulled myself up from my bootstraps,” she said. “I wanted to be a costume designer. I studied, I scraped, I dealt with adversity in the industry that sometimes didn’t look like me. I endured. So I feel that this win opens the door for other young costume designers who may not think that this industry is for them.”

Carter’s win is a significant milestone for Black creatives in Hollywood, and she joins a small group of Black actors and artists who have won multiple Academy Awards.

Denzel Washington and Mahershala Ali are among those who have achieved this feat.

In her previous work, Carter has been celebrated for her Afrofuturist approach to costume design, which draws inspiration from Indigenous influences across the African continent and infuses them with a technological edge.

Her work on Black Panther, in particular, has been praised for its innovative and groundbreaking approach to superhero costumes. The film tells the story of the fictional kingdom of Wakanda, which is based on a futuristic version of Africa and has remained hidden from the rest of the world.

“When we made that film, we were seeing a future of Black people in storytelling,” Carter told The Guardian in an interview last year. “It was a forward-thinking idea when we made that film.”

Carter’s achievements have inspired and empowered countless aspiring costume designers, particularly Black women, who have historically faced significant barriers to entry in the industry.

Her win represents a significant step forward in the fight for greater diversity and representation in Hollywood, and a recognition of the immense talent and contributions of Black creatives in the industry.

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