I can’t call myself a huge Chadwick Boseman fan or even a huge fan of any celebrity. But I felt compelled to share my thoughts. There are those people in the world that touch my soul and I wouldn’t mind sitting down and having a conversation with these people to see how their mind works and maybe gain a little knowledge in the process. But, as we all know, sometimes someone comes along who is a little more special than others. And in black actors and actresses, we the people (black people), find our heroes and role models. These people achieve what we can only dream and hope to do. I believe Chadwich Boseman was one such person. Along with other famous names like Angela Bassett, Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, and Anthony Mackie, to name a few. Yes, yes I know there are others, but actors like Sidney Poitier and Phylicia Rashad, are a different caliber, and frankly, there are too many to name. But you get the gist of what I mean. I believe he made such a huge impact because he is our generation. At only 43 years old, he portrayed some very famous and influential people. And then Black Panther from the Marvel Universe hit the scene in 2018.
We have been obsessed with MCU since Iron Man came out and now we have our very own movie, which is part of that same universe we love! On top of that, Black Panther came along at a time when the nation was and is at unrest. It came out during a time when black people are once again targets of the police. This was our escape from reality. Then to see African American people portrayed as something other than gang members, or drug dealers, and drug addicts. Black people came out in droves to support Black Panther, donning African garb and wearing their blackness proud all to support the man who portrayed T’Challa. Because let’s face it, we fell in love with him in 2013 when he started in 42. 42 was the jersey number of our very own Jackie Robinson. First black man to play major league baseball. But what was so special about Black Panther? I mean we have had other movies with all-black casts throughout the years and some very good movies because of it. Yes, but over those same years, how were black folks portrayed? Yeah, we know, so I won’t say it again. This time though, we got to see black excellence. Not only that, but it was thriving and successful but at the same time hidden for fear of losing it. A reflection of the lives of black people in every era and even fantasy, maybe.
Now, sadly the man who portrayed our symbol of hope has given us all he could, has left this world. The saying goes “the good die young”, and he was truly a good guy. Chadwick was never a celebrity you heard negative things about in the media. He always seemed very humble, well mannered. and personable. Like he could be your best friend. He fell into his roles and probably had a lot of us thinking he was truly from Africa. He is not, he was born in South Carolina. But to us, he IS T’Challa, he IS Black Panther. Now, our superhero is gone. He finally succumbed to his illness on August 28th after a 4 year-long battle with colon cancer. He was surrounded by his family at his home in Los Angeles. The news of his passing on Twitter has become the most liked tweet ever. All of his costars and the lives that he touched have shown an outpouring of support and how he touched their lives as well. Most of us didn’t even know he was sick, but all of us noticed his weight loss. All we know is that he gave us what we wanted. And to think that he was sick for most of this is mindboggling. Talk about work ethic and I am sure he loved what he did as well.
Again, I do not claim to be a huge Chadwick fan and it makes me sad that I won’t get to see his future work. But I will always love the work he did complete, which will probably become classics now. I myself had to watch him again in Black Panther and it amazes me how lost you become in that world. Although, it makes me wonder what will happen with Black Panther 2, which was slated to come out in MCU’s phase 4 sometime around 2022. It will be hard to accept another actor filling his spot, or if they will be able to achieve what he did. I simply do not know. There was a certain chemistry that he brought with him, and not everyone possesses a trait like that.
Now, I will say the thing that I learned about Chadwich Boseman, that I liked a lot. And that was his connection to Denzel Washington. It is an unlikely story, that many have probably heard by now, but he is the reason why we have T’Challa today. He gave a young black actor, whom he thought had a lot of potential for greatness, an opportunity. If that is not saying a lot, then take a look at Denzel Washington’s list of movies and awards. The world lost another great one. I for one would have loved to see all that he would have accomplished, and of course Black Panther 2. Now, my sons have one less hero that looks like them in this world, and its a little less bright. Condolences to his family, he meant a lot to us, so I can only imagine how his passing is affecting them. WAKANDA FOREVER.