By Sophie Wells
Chadwick Boseman, the man who inspired us as Jackie Robinson, got us on our feet as James Brown, and gave us strength as the Black Panther, passed away at 43 years of age in his home on August 28, 2020.
Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, according to sources. Yet, his passion for acting, directing, and producing was unwavering. Throughout his remarkable career, Boseman starred as several legendary African American pioneers, inspiring countless people around the world. He, his family, and the few friends who knew about his diagnosis kept his battle completely private from the public eye. It is today that we know and admire the courage and determination he had while fighting this brutal sickness.
"To be young, gifted, and Black, we all know what it's like to be told that there is not a place for you to be featured,” he said at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards. “Yet, you are young, gifted, and Black. We know what it's like to be told to say there is not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on.”
It is so incredibly important for us all to take a minute and truly understand how dedicated this man was to the roles he played and the countless ways he supported and encouraged the African American community. From the year he was diagnosed with colon cancer, Boseman starred in over seven films, hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, won seven awards, and so much more. These prestigious awards include the MTV Movie & TV Award for “Best Performance in a Movie” and “Best Hero” in Black Panther, a BET Award for “Best Actor” in Marshall and Black Panther, a People’s Choice Award for “Male Movie Star of the Year,” a Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture,” a Black Reel Award for “Outstanding Actor” and an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture.”
Today, he is remembered for his devotion on and off the screen by his family, friends, fans, and the many actors and actresses who worked by his side over the course of his career.
“How do you honor a king?” Danai Gurira, co-star of Black Panther posted. “Reeling from the loss of my colleague, my friend, my brother. Struggling for words. Nothing feels adequate. I always marveled at how special Chadwick was. Such a pure-hearted, profoundly generous, regal, fun guy. My entire job as Okoye was to respect and protect a king. Honor his leadership. Chadwick made that job profoundly easy. He was the epitome of kindness, elegance, diligence, and grace.”
There aren’t many people in the world who have the talent that Chadwick Boseman did. There aren’t many people in the world who would have the strength to be able to move and inspire millions while fighting for his own life. To say this man is a legend is an understatement. It is without a doubt in my mind that his legacy will continue to move people around the world for years and years to come.
Sophie Wells is an editorial intern who is knowledgeable in all things fashion, cooking, and entertainment.