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Signature Events

President’s Lecture Series Featuring Academy Award Winner, Ruth Carter

March 23, 2023 | 5:00 PM


The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is proud to present the next installment of the President’s Lecture Series this March, featuring Academy Award winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter.

The 2023 President’s Lecture Series is a curated collection of events featuring dynamic speakers chosen by the President of the Charles H. Wright Museum, Neil A. Barclay. Dedicated to bringing insightful and robust conversation to the Detroit community, the series addresses critical topics in the areas of civic engagement, art, history, and culture.

Due to Ms. Carter’s filming schedule, and ongoing concerns with Covid, the Museum would like to make sure that everyone is safe and has access to see this important event and will offer two options to see this event.

Participants can either view this lecture series from the comfort of their own home, via a live-stream ticket. Or, if you choose to visit the museum and attend in person there are two requirements: Proof of COVID vaccination and proof of a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours (via signed affidavit at registration).

We are excited about this event and hope these measures will provide a safe and healthy environment for everyone to experience The Wright!


* Active members of the Wright Museum receive a discount. Use code: PLSRUTH2023

About Ruth Carter


Ruth E. Carter is the two-time Academy Award winning American film costume designer known for turning the Black Panther superhero into an African King. Carter made history as the first Black person to win in the category and as the first Black woman to win two Oscars. She is known for turning the Black Panther superhero into an African King and earning Marvel Studios their first Oscar recognition.

Carter pays tribute to the people of Africa through the costumes in BLACK PANTHER and BLACK PANTHER 2: WAKANDA FOREVER. She fuses traditional and contemporary while incorporating technology to deliver fashion and function, creating Afrofuturistic pieces that empower the female form, honor ancient cultures, and invoke a deep sense of representation unlike any other costumes experienced on screen.

For WAKANDA FOREVER, Carter masterfully raises costume design to new levels while introducing new superheroes and the underwater world of the Talokan into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Carter was tasked with creating hundreds of looks and multiple builds for superhero characters steeped in symbolism and storytelling from two civilizations that battle on land, in air, and underwater. She adds more brilliance and depth of culture and emotion to elevating the groundbreaking Afrofuturistic Wakandan looks with compelling new costumes and super suits for the characters from the first film; and creates wearable art with breathtaking pieces that honor post classic Mesoamerican Maya culture for the Indigenous futuristic Talokan leaving audiences and critics captivated.

Over three decades in film, television, and theater, Carter has earned seventy credits and collaborated with prolific directors, including Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Ava DuVernay, and Ryan Coogler. Carter’s costumes based on real and imaginative characters provide an arc to the narratives of African Americans. From DO THE RIGHT THING, MALCOLM X, WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, AMISTAD, THE BUTLER, MARSHALL, SELMA, DOLEMITE IS MY NAME, COMING AMERICA to BLACK PANTHER; her devotion to retraining the eye to see beauty through costume design and telling stories that enrich the humanity of the Black experience cements her legacy as a preeminent voice and expert on period genres and Afro aesthetics.

Carter's outstanding costume design work has been honored with Academy Award nominations for MALCOLM X (1993) and AMISTAD (1998) and an Emmy nomination for the miniseries reboot of ROOTS (2016). The impact of her career in filmmaking has been recognized with the Costume Designers Guild's Career Achievement Award (2019) and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2021). Carter is a member of the board of governors for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.