Although Chadwick Boseman passed earlier this year, his 44th birthday would be coming up on November 29. To commemorate Boseman, National Today has created Chadwick Boseman Day in his honor.
Boseman accomplished many things over his 44 years of life and has inspired people everywhere. He always encompassed black excellence and this shines through in each role he portrayed throughout his career.
As T’CHalla in Black Panther, Boseman gave young people of color a hero to look up to in the Marvel universe. This was a monumental role as the first black superhero for Marvel. He also represented the first African American Supreme Court Justice in the movie Marshall. In the famous film 42, Boseman took on the lead as Jackie Robinson, the first black MLB player. These roles only highlight Boseman’s wildly successful career. He took on powerful roles that gave representation to the African American community and will be remembered for these roles and many others.
Chadwick Boseman passed after a four year battle with colon cancer on Friday, August 28, 2020. In 2016, Boseman was diagnosed with stage three cancer which had progressed to stage four. Boseman was able to pass at home surrounded by family.
Boseman’s passing, whose struggle with cancer was not often in the public eye, came as a shock to a majority. Even Sarah Halley Finn, who casted Boseman for the role of King T’Challa in “Black Panther” did not know he was battling cancer.
According to Vulture, “Finn had no idea the actor had been diagnosed with stage three cancer when cameras rolled on Black Panther in 2017.”
Chadwick Boseman not only was an actor, but a pillar in the black community often playing roles of historical black men, such as Jackie Robinison in “42”. His latest role as King T’Challa in “Black Panther” and the Avengers series was a historical role itself.
The black community had never seen a super hero represent them before and Chadwick Boseman’s adaptation of T’Challa provided many young boys and girls a super hero that looked just like them.
Boseman’s humble spirit was always felt throughout Hollywood. CNN entertainment shared the story of Boseman praising fellow actor, Denzel Washington, for his charity that allowed Boseman to pursue acting.
From pulled quotes from Boseman’s speech at the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, the story of how Washington paid for Boseman’s tuition at the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer program after Boseman was accepted but could not attend because he could not afford it. Washington not only helped pay for this program, but helped pay for Boseman to attend Howard University.
Boseman recounted how the sponsorship was “an offering from a sage and a king is more than silver and gold. It is a seed of hope, a bud of faith.”
“There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington,” Boseman said. “And not just because of me, but my whole cast — that generation — stands on your shoulders.”
Boseman’s role as T’Challa was much more than that, a role. This role became a national symbol of black power and strength. The “Wakanda Forever” gesture of arms crossed over the chest, became a symbol itself of perseverance and pride.
CBS New York spoke to people in New York about how Blank Panther made them feel. “Thirteen-year-old Brehima Gueye says watching Boseman in the 2018 Marvel film “Black Panther” gave him purpose and a sense of pride.”
According to CBS, “Family members say Boseman was a true fighter who continued to work while undergoing surgeries and chemotherapy for colon cancer that progressed to stage four.”
On August 29, 2020 fans in Los Angeles attended a vigil at Leimert Park where they remembered the impact Boseman had within the black community. The Los Angeles Times stated, “Boseman’s death in the midst of so much racial tension in the country serves as reminder to keep fighting for racial justice like he did.”
Fans of the franchise worry about how it will continue on without Boseman but are hopeful that Wakanda and King T’Challa’s legacy will live on.
Boseman’s role in not only Hollywood, but within the black community and as a symbol of black strength will not be forgotten. While his role for the Avengers franchise brought monetary achievements, it brought much more than that. It brought a symbol of power, endurance and hope that will forever be immortalized on screen.