Sam Fragoso is a writer, director and podcast host based in Los Angeles. His interviews have appeared in Vanity Fair, The New Republic, The Atlantic and NPR. In a past…
For over three decades, legendary costume designer Ruth E. Carter has created the looks of our most era-defining films. Today, we’re celebrating those pieces chronicled in her new book, The Art of Ruth E. Carter: Costuming Black History and the Afrofuture.
At the top, we discuss the current labor movement in Hollywood (5:03), Carter’s upbringing in Massachusetts (8:50), and a formative Langston Hughes poem (12:56). Then, she reflects on her early years in Los Angeles (19:45), the night she met a lifelong collaborator in director Spike Lee (21:52), and the process of making School Daze (25:49), Do the Right Thing (29:06), and Malcolm X (37:42).
On the back-half, Carter describes her innovative work on the Black Panther films (50:40), which earned her two Academy Awards (54:33), the enduring influence of her mother, Mabel Carter (1:03:10), and how she continues to tell the story of the Black experience through costume design (1:04:35).