The entire world is mourning for the inspiring “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman after his death was announced this past Friday.
Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman’s family. Your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/DyibBLoBxz
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) August 29, 2020
Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, which progressed to stage IV over four years. While fighting his battle with cancer, Boseman pursued his acting career in between his surgeries and treatments, and transformed into an icon for many young African Americans. His roles include heroic black men who conquer difficult challenges in their stories. Boseman was a king and leader for many audiences, and will always be remembered for the humble messages he sent through film.
“Chadwick was such an elegant man with great integrity and tremendous talent. He inspired an entire generation to stand up and be king. Honor him by emulating him-show kindness and love to others. Share your talents in ways that impact. Always strive to be a light in the darkness.” posted the Russo Brothers: directors of Boseman’s debut in “Captain America: Civil War.”
Chadwick Aaron Boseman was born on November 29, 1976, in Anderson, South Carolina. He attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. He then attended the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England. In his early career, Boseman performed in many stage productions and earned small acting gigs. He wrote and directed a number of stage productions, as well as the short film Blood Over a Broken Pawn.
Boseman started making a name for himself on television in the 2000s, scoring appearances in shows such as Third Watch and CSI: NY. In 2008, Boseman secured a role as Nathaniel Ray on the ABC Family drama Lincoln Heights; Lincoln Heights focused on a suburban family who relocates to the urban community where the police officer patriarch was raised. Boseman was featured in the last two seasons during the series. During this period, he also appeared in Gary Fleder’s The Express: a sports biopic about renowned running back Ernie Davis, who played for Syracuse University during the civil rights era.
After landing several roles, in 2013 Boseman had his big break by winning the huge role of Jackie Robinson in the biopic 42. The film illustrates the story of Jackie Robinson, a legendary baseball player, who broke racial barriers by becoming the first black athlete to play in the majors in the 20th century. Boseman blew this role out of the park as he was perfectly able to capture the bravery needed to be an African American trying to make it in an industry that, at the time, despised you. His career continued to take off after this role.
In 2014, after playing Vontae Mack in the football drama Draft Day, he accepted the role to portray music legend James Brown in Tate Taylor’s Get on Up, which told the story of the iconic singer’s rise to fame. Boseman was able to capture the individualism and motivation for his role, and amazed many by his mastered footwork and portrayal of a true performer.
After playing the character of Thoth in the Gods of Egypt (2016), Boseman had his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; he played T’Challa, king of the African country Wakanda, in the superhero blockbuster Captain America: Civil War. Boseman’s career then skyrocketed in 2018 with his role as T’Challa/Black Panther in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, the first superhero of African descent to lead a Marvel film. His demonstration of the superhero Black Panther held the weight of making history in cinema, and setting the standards of how African ancestry and contribution should be represented. The infamous phrase “Wakanda Forever” soon became a revolutionary cry of affirmation and bravery; Boseman became a real hero in the eyes of young MCU fans.
“I noticed then that Chad was an anomaly,” said Cooger, in a statement released by Marvel. “He was calm. Assured. Constantly studying. But also kind, comforting, had the warmest laugh in the world, and eyes that seen much beyond his years, but could still sparkle like a child seeing something for the first time.
Adding to his portrayal of historical figures, Boseman played Thurgood Marshall in Marhsall (2017). The powerful biopic was about Thurgood Marshall, a lawyer who went on to become the first-ever Black Supreme Court Justice. Boseman then starred in 21 Bridges (2019), as an NYPD detective on the hunt for two cop killers.
Boseman’s portrayal of historical and impactful Black leaders let a clearer side of history be represented on screen. His legacy will be remembered for generations through the films he blessed us with.
Chadwick Boseman brought history to life on the silver screen, from Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall.
As Black Panther, he was also a superhero to many.
And despite his 4 year long battle with cancer, he kept fighting and he kept inspiring. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/f0Tc8ByaXj
— Martin Luther King III (@OfficialMLK3) August 29, 2020