Actor, writer, producer, and real-life superhero Chadwick Boseman, passed away on Friday, 8/28/20 at the age of 43. Best known for his iconic role as the “Black Panther”, Boseman also portrayed prominent historical Black figures such as James Brown, Jackie Robinson, and Thurgood Marshall.
In 2016, the actor discovered that he had Stage 3 colon cancer, which unfortunately progressed to Stage 4 after chemotherapy and procedures. His last moments were spent in his home, surrounded by his wife and family according to a statement posted to his Instagram page.
The South Carolina native graduated from Howard University in 2000. While there, he participated in a study abroad program at the British American Drama Academy, a program that Denzel Washington paid for. Boseman shared the story while honoring Washington before the Malcolm X actor accepted the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award and said, “Imagine receiving the letter that your tuition for that summer was paid for and that your benefactor was none other than the dopest actor on the planet.”
Boseman’s breakout role was in 2013 when he starred as Jackie Robinson in “42”. Ironically, his passing was announced on the day Major League Baseball honored Robinson for his contribution to baseball. The annual commemoration usually takes place earlier in the year, but was postponed due to COVID-19.
“We are devastated by the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman. His transcendent performance in “42” will stand the test of time and serve as a powerful vehicle to tell Jackie’s story to audiences for generations to come.” Major League Baseball posted to its Instagram page today.
Boseman brought history to life playing James Brown in 2014 and Thurgood Marshall in 2017, but made his mark by playing T’Challa in “Black Panther”. This 2018 film marked a special moment for the Black community as children, teens and adults raised their fists into a bold X. The Black community loudly celebrated our Black superhero and gave him his flowers while he graced us with talent and an impeccable performance.
Costar and friend of Chadwick, Angela Bassett stated “This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother…”thou aren’t not dead but flown afar…”. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince.” #WakandaForever”.
In his 43 years of life he provided the Black community with the impact of multiple lifetimes. Chadwick was a true fighter and hero both on and off the screen. His legacy will continue as such.