Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson Wednesday honored Academy Award winners Hannah Beachler and Ruth E. Carter for their work on “Black Panther.”
Beachler and Carter took home statuettes last month for production design and costume design, respectively, becoming the first black women to win Oscars in their categories.
“Ruth Carter and Hannah Beachler have not only cracked the glass ceiling — they’ve shattered it,” Wesson said in announcing they would be honored at the City Council meeting. “They are every bit as groundbreaking and inspirational as the film `Black Panther’ and I’m proud to be able to honor these modern-day vanguards,” he said. “Even more exciting than their Oscar wins is their continued commitment to making sure that they pave the way for other aspiring blacks in film and television to be able to achieve the same height of success.”
The designers helped bring to life Wakanda, the fictional African country where most of “Black Panther” takes place. The 2018 superhero film is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name.
Carter, whose credits include “Malcolm X,” “What’s Love Got To do With It” and “Selma,” told the council that after “Black Panther,” people asked her “how it felt to have designed my first superhero, and my answer has been the same. My entire career I have been designing superheroes. Malcolm X was a superhero, Martin Luther King in Selma was a superhero. Tina Turner was a superhero.
“And so this time, with the Black Panther that I spent researching the ancient African tribes and building this world of Wakanda, was a beautiful experience, but not unlike building the world around Malcolm X or Martin Luther King and recreating the Selma march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge,” she said.
The City Council presentation continued a month of highlighting, recognizing and celebrating the achievements of women during Women’s History Month and follows last month’s “Blacks in Cinema” exhibit, which paid homage to 1970s films and TV shows featuring mostly black casts.
Along with the council ceremony, an art installation featuring 10-foot images from “Black Panther” was on display in the City Hall Rotunda from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.