Ruth Carter made history in 2019 as the first African American to win the costume design Oscar, winning for her work on Black Panther. In a career spanning nearly four decades, she was the lead costume designer on more than 40 films. Carter had previous Oscar nominations for Steven Spielberg‘s Amistad in 1997 and Spike Lee‘s Malcolm X in 1992.
Born in Springfield, Mass., Carter graduated from Hampton University, where she was initially a special education major before switching to the theater. Around campus, she was known as “the costume designer.” Following her Black Panther success, Carter made history a second time by becoming the first Black costume designer to get a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Most recently, she outfitted Eddie Murphy and the rest of the cast of the much anticipated Coming 2 America. A project that she was chosen for shortly after her Oscar win.
As BET continues to celebrate Women’s History Month, we praise the hands and creative mind of Ruth Carter who did that on every piece of art that can be worn as clothing that she has ever designed.