Ruth E. Carter Sweetrocks Inspiring Women
Ruth E. Carter is an American costume designer for film and television, with over 40 films to her credit, who has mastered the look of multiple periods and genres in envisioning the clothing and overall appearance of a character or performer. During her nearly-30-year film career, Carter has been nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, for her work on Spike Lee’s biographical film Malcolm X (1992), Steven Spielberg’s historical drama film Amistad (1997), and her most recent work on Ryan Coogler’s Marvel superhero film Black Panther (2018), for which she won the award and became the first African-American to win an Academy Award in that category.
Carter graduated from Hampton University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Ruth began her career working as an intern in her hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts and at the Santa Fe Opera. She moved to Los Angeles in 1986. While working at the Los Angeles Theater Center, Carter met director Spike Lee, who hired her for his second film, School Daze (1988), and with whom she worked on a number of films thereafter, including Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo’ Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), and Malcolm X (1992). Carter has continued to work on films for Spike Lee, including Oldboy (2013), Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014), and Chi-Raq (2015).