Blockbuster films usually aren’t awards season contenders. However, it was impossible for the Academy to ignore the Wakandan excellence of Black Panther.
The film already defied the odds by earning a Best Picture nomination (the first for a superhero film). But, in the course of becoming the first Oscar-winning Marvel film, it racked up three history making victories for Ruth Carter, Hannah Beachler, and Ludwig Göransson.
Ruth Carter, First African-American To Win Best Costume Design
Ruth Carter was already a historic costume designer before Sunday’s ceremony even began. In 1993, Carter is the first African-American to be nominated for Best Costume Design for her work in Malcolm X. She is now the first African-American to take the award home. During her acceptance speech, Ruth Carter remarked that the award was “a long time coming” and gave a shoutout to Spike Lee who gave her her start in School Daze all the way back in 1988.
Hannah Beachler, First African-American To Win Best Production Design
Hannah Beachler is the first African-American person to be nominated for and win the Oscar for Best Production Design. Beachler gave an impassioned speech during the telecast: “I give this strength to all of those who come next. To keep going and never give up, and when you think it’s impossible, just remember to say this piece of advice I got from a very wise woman: ‘I did my best, and my best is good enough.’”
Black Panther Becomes First Superhero Movie To Win Best Original Score
Göransson was a first-time nominee and is now a first-time Oscar winner for his Black Panther score. The Swedish-born composer has scored all of director Ryan Coogler’s films and Black Panther is only their third collaboration. Göransson won a Grammy for the Black Panther score and also for co-writing Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”. His next project is The Mandalorian, the upcoming Disney+ series set in the Star Wars universe.
Just in case anyone is feeling blasé as to how monumental this win is, consider this: The last time a score for a superhero film was nominated was in 1978. For Superman. By John Williams.
And *that* guy didn’t even win.