"Thank you to my crews around the world who helped bring Wakanda to life," said Ruth E. Carter, accepting the Best Costume Design Oscar for Black Panther

By Jen Juneau
February 24, 2019 09:52 PM
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Ruth E. Carter just made history at the 2019 Oscars.

While attending the ceremony on Sunday evening in Los Angeles wearing a stunning blue-and-gold gown, Carter took home her first-ever Academy Award for Best Costume Design — making her the first black woman to ever do so, for her efforts in Black Panther.

“Wow. I got it. This has been a long time coming. Spike Lee, thank you for my start. I hope this makes you proud,” she said as she accepted the honor, referring to her work on her first feature film, School Daze, over 30 years ago.

“Marvel may have created the first black superhero, but through costume design, we turned him into an African king,” continued Carter, 58. “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 on screen.”

Ruth E. Carter
| Credit: Getty
Ruth E. Carter
| Credit: Gett

“Thank you to my crews around the world who helped bring Wakanda to life,” she said, joking, “Adding vibranium to costumes is very expensive, so thank you Victoria Alonso, Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Jeffrey Chernov, Bob Iger and Nate Moore. My career is built with passion to tell stories to know us better.”

“This is for my 97-year-old mother, watching in Massachusetts,” Carter concluded. “Mom, thank you for teaching me about people and their stories. You are the original superhero. Thank you.”

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full Oscars coverage to get the latest news on film’s biggest night.

Ruth E. Carter
| Credit: Getty

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Black Panther has already taken home two of the seven awards it is nominated for: Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

The record-breaking superhero film — starring an ensemble cast including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira — is still up for Best Original Song, Best Original Score and Best Picture.

The 91st Academy Awards are broadcasting live from Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.