The Black Panther movie, which was celebrated across the African content for creating the first African superhero and the technologically advanced kingdom of Wakanda, on Sunday earned its creators, Marvel Studios, their first Oscar awards.
Ruth Carter and Hannah Beachler also won the costume design and production design prizes respectively, becoming the first black winners in their categories.
“Marvel may have created the first black superhero but through costume design we turned him into an African king,’‘ Carter said in her speech.
Reading from her phone as she stood onstage, Beachler lavished praise upon the director Ryan Coogler: “Thank you so much, Ryan Coogler. I stand here stronger than I was yesterday; I stand here with agency and self-worth because of Ryan Coogler, who not only made me a better designer, a better storyteller, a better person,” she said tearily. “I stand here because of this man, who offered me a different perspective of life. Who offered me a safe space, who was patient and gave me air, humanity, and brotherhood. Thank you Ryan, I love you.
Carter also worked on Malcolm X and Selma while Beachler who shared the production design award with Jay Hart, previously worked on Moonlight, Creed and Beyonce’s Lemonade.
While the coveted Best Picture prize was won by controversial civil rights drama “Green Book”, and Alfonso Cuaron bagged a hat trick of Oscars for “Roma,” his love letter to his childhood in 1970s Mexico City, the list of winners was as diverse as can be.
“Green Book” also won a widely expected best supporting actor trophy for Mahershala Ali, and a best original screenplay award.
Egyptian-born Rami Malek was named best actor for his role as Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, delivering a moving speech about his story as a first-generation American.
Hollywood’s celebrated black director, Spike Lee won his first ever competitive prize, for best adapted screenplay for race drama “BlacKkKlansman.”
“BlacKkKlansman” is a searing yet sometimes hilarious broadside against racism with the stranger-than-fiction true story of an African-American police officer who managed to infiltrate the highest levels of the Ku Klux Klan.
61-year-old Lee had not won a competitive Oscar despite making films that have captivated audiences all over the world for more than 30 years.
Thus year’s Oscars had no host for the first time in three decades, after comedian Kevin Hart bowed out amid a backlash over past tweets slammed as homophobic.