Black America Mourns the Loss of a King and a Superhero - Chadwick Boseman Dies at 43

I’m speechless. I’m normally not moved by celebrity deaths but this one I’m feeling. I’m shocked to have gotten the news of Chadwick Boseman’s passing last night.

I never imagined he was dealing with cancer. To have made such impactful films like “42”, “Marshall,” and “Get on Up,” it’s almost as if he knew he had to leave a powerful legacy. Thankfully, for all of us he did.

Chadwick Boseman, best known for his leading role in Black Panther, died at age 43, his publicist confirmed on Friday, August 28.

Chadwick Boseman attends the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” the statement began. “Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and battled with it these last four years as it progressed to stage IV. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson‘s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.”

‘A superhero to many’

Chadwick Boseman was a testament to perseverance. It’s unimaginable that he was able to make so many wonderful film while suffering through multiple surgeries and chemotherapy. I can’t even begin to imagine the fortitude it must have taken. He will forever be my hero and a beacon of strength of purpose for me. I’m so thankful for the legacy he has left us, for what he did to propel Black culture, and elevate the perception of Black men in America.

As stated by Martin Luther King III, by playing Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall, Chadwick Boseman “brought history to life” with his roles. He reminded us the the greats that came before him while showcasing his own excellence with a humble and gentle spirit, graciously facing his personal challenges head on. I am just as much an admirer of his work as I am his being. As the mother of a Black son, he represents type of man I wish my son to become, one who never gives up!

Anyone that saw “Black Panther” knows that Chadwick Boseman was the perfect embodiment of King T’Challa, smooth, intelligent, strong, yet loving and funny. His natural charisma shown through in that role in a way that made Black people feel like, yes, this is our king. He showed the world what Black excellence was in a way that was powerful beyond words.

“Get on Up” was the last movie my son and I watched before he left to go spend summer vacation with his dad. We were both so overwhelmed by his portrayal of James Brown. He played Jameson Brown as a complicated man that was both genius and haunted. I remember just being completely overwhelmed by the range of Chadwick’s acting.

“He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career,” the actor Denzel Washington, who once financed Mr. Boseman’s studies at an elite theater program at the University of Oxford, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “God bless Chadwick Boseman.”

We’ve lost such an important part of our Black cinema legacy. No one will be able to forget what Chadwick Boseman in his role of T’challa in the groundbreaking film Black Panther meant to Black people. My heart is truly broken!

Black America mourns a King!

Black Panther is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole, and it stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther alongside Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. In Black Panther, T’Challa is crowned king of Wakandafollowing his father’s death, but he is challenged by Killmonger who plans to abandon the country’s isolationist policies and begin a global revolution.
Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in “Get On Up
Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in “42”
Chadwick Boseman as the Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall”