Chadwick Boseman, the actor, known for playing some of the most iconic African American’s has died. The actor passed away Friday in his home surrounded by his wife and family, according to his publicist. The actor died after a private 4-year battle with colon cancer, according to his family. Many were unaware of his colon cancer diagnosis as he chose to keep it quiet from the public.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all and brought you so 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” -Family Statement.
A graduate of Howard University and the British American Drama Academy, he moved to Los Angeles in 2008 to pursue a career in acting. He landed his first starring role in the film, 42 playing Jackie Robinson, the Major League’s first black player.
That role propelled him into bigger films such as Draft Day, 21 Bridges, Spike Lee’s Da Five Bloods, portraying James Brown in “Get on Up” and Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall.”
He attained superstar status after starring in the Marvel film, Black Panther in 2018, playing the King of the fictional nation of Wakanda, King T’Challa. The film became one of the highest-grossing films of the year and was nominated for seven Oscars. Black Panther’s groundbreaking role was a defining moment in his career, solidifying his legacy as a black superhero that children could look up to, one that they could relate to because they saw themselves in him. The first major superhero film with a majority black cast, and the first to employ a black writer and director, Black Panther, became a proud moment for many in the black community. A brilliant display of black excellence, the film became a cultural moment with many holding special outings dressed in all black or African clothing and attending the movie multiple times with family, friends, and loved ones. Black Panther became a place we all wanted to go, a place free from racism and colonialism. Wakanda was a place where black excellence was the norm, and our people were free to be great.
News of his passing shocked many of his fellow colleagues and actors, with many expressing their grief and sadness on social media. Denzel Washington, Issa Rae, Don Cheadle, Angela Bassett, Sterling K. Brown, Marvel Studios, Keven Feige, and Presidential hopeful, Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris posted tributes and statements on social media.
“I don’t have words. Rest in Peace, Bruh. Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed”-Sterling K. Brown
“He was a gentle soul and brilliant artist, who will stay with us for an eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career. God Bless Chadwick Boseman.”- Denzel Washington
“What a gentle gifted SOUL. Showing us all the Greatness in between surgeries and chemo. The courage, the strength, the power it takes to do that. This is what dignity looks like”-Oprah Winfrey
Heartbroken. My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early, but his life made a difference. Sending my sincere condolences to his family”-Kamala Harris
Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating. He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family
– Kevin Feige, President, Marvel Studios & Chief Creative Officer
Chadwick Boseman leaves a legacy of films honoring our stories. Through his art, he inspired and showed generations reflections of themselves. As King T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman gave young black children a superhero that looked like them. He brought authenticity, dignity, and grace to every character he portrayed. Black Panther 2 was tentatively scheduled for release in May 2020 and was in early development before the COVID-19 crisis.
Chadwick Boseman was 43.
Rest in Power.
Danielle Sanders is an entertainment and music writer/reporter living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial and @BlkWidowsWeb