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Oscars 2019: Black Panther’s Hannah Beachler Makes History with Production Design Win

Black Women in Entertainment

Oscars 2019: Black Panther’s Hannah Beachler Makes History with Production Design Win

Beachler was the first African American to be nominated for the award—and on Sunday night, she became the first to win it.


Black Panther has already made Oscar history. On Sunday night, Hannah Beachler became the first African-American person to win the gold statuette for production design.

Beachler’s nomination was already a coup; no African-American designer had previously been nominated for the award. And on Sunday night, Beachler was visibly emotional over her win, shaking and struggling for a moment to find her acceptance speech on her phone.

“I stand here stronger than I was yesterday,” Beachler said. “I stand here with agency and self-worth because of [Black Panther director] Ryan Coogler—who not only made me a better designer, a better storyteller, a better person. I stand here because of this man who offered me a different perspective of life. Who offered me a safe space. Who is patient and gave me air, humanity, and brotherhood. Thank you, Ryan, I love you.”

Black Panther has already had a good night at the Oscars; before Beachler took the stage, costume designer Ruth E. Carter had already accepted her own award for the film’s meticulous costume design. As Carter herself told V.F. in an interview last year, a lot of the film’s creative direction came from Beachler’s work; Beachler had already mapped out the world of Wakanda by the time other creatives arrived on the film. She had compiled what Carter described as “a 500-page outline,” including a …

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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