Designer Ruth E. Carter Makes History As The First Black Woman To Win 2 Oscars


March 13, 2023

She dedicated this award to her mother!

Carter is no stranger to firsts, making history in 2019 as the first Black person and Black woman to win the Oscar for Costume Design for her work on the Marvel’s 2018 “Black Panther.” Now she’s done it again, this time for the film’s sequel, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” making history as the first Black woman to win 2 Academy Awards. Carter has nearly four decades of work under her belt, and a total of four Oscar nominations, including one for Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” and Stephen Spielberg’s “Amistad.” According to Variety, she also has credits on Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” and the Tina Turner biopic “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” starring Angela Bassett. 

The veteran costume designer gave a nod to Bassett during her speech, thanking the Academy “for recognizing the superhero that is a Black woman.” Bassett was up for her own historic first, losing what would have been her first Oscar to Jamie Lee Curtis. Carter also made sure to acknowledge the team and director Ryan Coogler, the late “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman, and her late mother, who she dedicated the award to. 


“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, Mable Carter became an ancestor. This film prepared me for this moment. Chadwick, please take care of Mom…I share this with many dedicated artists whose hands and hearts helped manifest the costumes of Wakanda and Talokan. This is for my mother. She was 101,” said Carter.  

For her work Carter has already received numerous honors including a 2018 Career Achievement Award from the Costume Designers Guild Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Now she joins an elite but small group of Black Hollywood members who have won multiple Academy Awards. Denzel Washington made history in 2002 with his second Oscar for “Training Day,” the first being for 1990’s “Glory,” becoming the first Black person to ever receive two Oscars. Mahershala Ali is the only other actor who holds two Oscars, one for “Moonlight” and the other for “Green Book.” 


Now Carter is the third, an honor she doesn’t take lightly as she continues to put her all into work that speaks to the whole of Black culture. We honor her for her ability to give life to our characters and do so with class and grace. 

Congratulations Ms. Ruth! Because of you, we can!

Designer Ruth E. Carter makes history as the first Black woman to win 2 Oscars/Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores/Variety


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