Hannah Beachler, the First African-American Oscar Nominee for Production Design, Reacts | Modern Society of USA

Hannah Beachler, the First African-American Oscar Nominee for Production Design, Reacts

Hannah Beachler, the First African-American Oscar Nominee for Production Design, Reacts

Wakanda forever, indeed. While “Black Panther” joins the small list of films with predominantly black casts to be nominated for best picture, it’s been less forever and more accurately never that an African-American has received a nomination in the production design category. On Tuesday, Hannah Beachler changed history with her nod for the rich African world she helped imagine for “Black Panther.” It’s a highlight in a career already filled with cultural touchstones, including Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” and Barry Jenkins’s “Moonlight.”

[Read more about the nominations | Check out the full list of nominees | See the snubs and surprises.]

Beachler found out about the nomination — one of seven for “Black Panther” — while working on set in Cincinnati for Todd Haynes’s latest feature. They were in the middle of a take when she got the call from her agent.

“I had to run to the back of the warehouse where the catering was so I could yell,” she said, speaking by phone. “And then I cried.”

The major Oscar categories like acting, directing and picture are the ones often most scrutinized for diversity or lack thereof, but the so-called below-the-line or technical categories have been even slower to recognize achievements for craftspeople of color.

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