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The Art of Ruth E. Carter

The Art of Ruth E. Carter

Costuming Black History and the Afro-Future, from Do the Right Thing to Black Panther

Ruth E. Carter
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Ruth E. Carter is a living legend of costume design. For three decades, she has shaped the story of the Black experience on screen--from the '80s streetwear of Do the Right Thing to the royal regalia of Coming 2 America. Her work on Marvel's Black Panther not only brought Afrofuturism to the mainstream, but also made her the first Black winner of an Oscar in costume design. In 2021, she became the second-ever costume designer to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In this definitive book, Carter shares her origins--recalling a trip to the sporting goods store with Spike Lee to outfit the School Daze cast and a transformative moment stepping inside history on the set of Steven Spielberg's Amistad. She recounts anecdotes from dressing the greats: Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Chadwick Boseman, and many more. She describes the passion for history that inspired her period pieces--from Malcolm X to What's Love Got to Do With It--and her journey into Afrofuturism.

Carter's wisdom and stories are paired with deluxe visuals, including sketches, mood boards, and film stills. Danai Gurira, beloved for her portrayal of Okoye in Black Panther, has contributed a foreword. Fans will even get a glimpse behind the scenes of the sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

At its core, Carter's oeuvre celebrates Black heroes and sheroes, whether civil rights leaders or Wakandan warriors. She has brought the past to life and helped us imagine a brighter future. This book is sure to inspire the next generation of artists and storytellers.


Ruth E. Carter is one of the most renowned and celebrated costume designers working today. In addition to her win for Black Panther, she's been nominated for two other Oscars and an Emmy. She has costumed more than forty films over the course of three decades. Her work is currently the subject of a traveling exhibit.


  • Publisher: ‎Chronicle Books (May 2, 2023)
  • Language: ‎English
  • Hardcover: ‎224 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎1797203061
  • ISBN-13: ‎9781797203065
  • Item Weight: ‎1.74 pounds
  • Alt: Ruthie Carter
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