Updated: Jan 12
Following the recent passing of Chadwick Boseman, aged 43, we reflected on all that he did as a movie star and activist. From his role in Black Panther to his work as an activist for the black community, Chadwick Boseman played more than a superhero in his movies.
Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, which would later progress to stage IV. By keeping his diagnosis a secret to fans, he in no way let this discouraging diagnosis stop him. Boseman continued to film not just one, but seven movies during his battle, which included: Marshall, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War & Endgame, 21 Bridges, Da 5 Bloods, and lastly Black Bottom. As Boseman’s condition grew worse, his physical appearance began to suffer, and Twitter trolls took to the internet to share their opinions about Boseman’s weight loss. Unaware of how much they’d regret this later, Boseman’s passing was eye-opening in reflecting how little we actually know about what those around us are going through. Since the passing of this real-life superhero, people everywhere have stopped to reflect on their actions towards others, as we truly don’t know the battles going on in others' personal lives. This is not the only lesson we learned at the hands of Boseman, over the course of his extensive acting career, Boseman made sure he used his fame and influence for good. The release of Black Panther (2018) sparked much conversation and much needed celebration of black heritage. Some movie go-ers even went to go see the movie in traditional Africa celebratory garb. The purpose of this of course is to celebrate the film, but also to support it in every way possible, so that we may be blessed with similar projects full of black talent in the future.
Black Panther was the first big superhero movie that featured a black hero, and a largely black cast. The stereotype that Hollywood movies could not make big money off of a predominantly black cast was refreshingly shattered by this film. This representation of being black in America, and visual of T’Challa, aka Chadwick Boseman, ruling over a kingdom in Africa is a showcase of black heritage and leadership that needs to be represented more in the mass media.
After the shock wave of the news of the beloved actor's death had settled, and many fans, co-stars, and family members took to the internet or turned to each other to pay tribute to their idol, friend, and husband. Although Chadwick Boseman may never give his fans the gift of a new superhero movie again, may we always all remember the change that he stood for.