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Some of the Oscar categories was the life-changing one for many celebs who won those categories. The wait was so long for these two ladies who served in Hollywood movies for three decades, but on the last night, at 2019 Oscar, the two African-American women won the Oscars in noo-acting categories. Hannah Beachler for the production design, and Ruth E. Carter for the costume design, both for their work on “Black Panther”. These ladies become the first African-American women to win the Oscar in their respective categories, and the first to win a non-acting category since Irene Cara in 1984, who won for the best original song, ‘Flashdance... What A Feeling', which she co-wrote.

The last Sunday the decision made by the authorities were perhaps the appropriate one, as the film they won for was one of the barrier-breaking spectacle and a box office smash. While there has been more progress in the high-profile Oscar categories in identifying people of color that advancement has historically been limited to on-screen work.

Beachler and Carter were contributory in fetching to life the lush Wakanda, the fictional African country where most of 'Black Panther' takes place. Carter, whose career stretches three decades, went to great lengths, like using a 3D printer, to authentically create costumes influenced by indigenous people across the African continent. Beachler’s mapping of Wakanda was essential in helping Carter execute that vision.

Marvel may have created the first black superhero, but through costume design, we turned him into an African king,” Carter said. “It’s been my life’s honor to create costumes. Thank you to the academy. Thank you for honoring African royalty and the empowered way women can look and lead onscreen.”

In her award taking speech, she paid tribute to the director of “Black Panther”, Ryan Coogler and also the cinematographer of the film- Rachel Morrison, who was the first woman nominated for an Oscar cinematography category.

“I give the strength to all of those who come next, to keep going, to never give up,” Beachler said through tears. “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.”

Author-Simran Bhatnagar

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