Ruth E. Carter made history again on Sunday, March 12, becoming the first Black woman to win two Oscars. Carter won her second Oscar at the 95th Academy Awards for best costume design for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
When her name was called, Carter took the stage at the Dolby Theater, saying “Nice to see you again.” She immediately thanked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 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.”
Carter revealed that her mother transitioned last week, stating, “This past week, Mabel Carter became an ancestor. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” prepared her for this moment.
“Chadwick, please take care of Mom,” she said, referring to actor Chadwick Boseman, the star of “Black Panther,” who died of cancer at the age of 43 in 2020.
Carter also thanked “Wakanda Forever” director Ryan Coogler and Marvel producer Nate More for their collective vision. “Together, we are reshaping how culture is represented,” Carter said.
Carter made history as the first Black to win an Oscar for costume design in 2022. Of her first Oscar win, Carter said, “This was longtime coming.”
She now becomes the first Black woman to be a two-time winner in any category. Carter joins Denzel Washington (2002, Best Lead Actor, “Training Day,” and 1990, Best Supporting Actor, “Glory”); Willie D. Burton (2006, Sound Mixing, “Dreamgirls” and 1989, Best Sound, “Bird”); Russell Williams II (1991, Best Sound, “Dances with Wolves, ” and 1990, Best Sound, “Glory”); and Mahershala Ali ( 2018, Best Supporting Actor, “Green Book,” and 2016, Best Supporting Actor, “Moonlight”) as two-time Oscar winners.
In her post-show interview, Carter discussed the road to her success and the difficulties she encountered along the way.
“I pulled myself up from my bootstraps,” she said. “I studied, I scraped, I dealt with adversity in an industry that didn’t look like me. I endured.” Carter hopes that her success can help the next generation of minority costume designers and she see’s herself as “living proof that anything is possible.”
In 1988, director Spike Lee gave Carter her an opportunity to design the costumes for “School Daze.” Lee and Carter have collaborated on 14 films. She has been nominated previously for her work on the Lee directed “Malcolm X,” Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad,” Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” and “Wakanda Forever.”
Carter ended her acceptance speech giving thanks to the “artists whose hands and hearts helped manifest the costumes of Wakanda and Talokan.” With thoughts of her mother at the forefront of her mind, Carter said, “This is for my mother. She was 101.”