Mandatory Credit: Photo by Katie Jones/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (9982486ao)
Variety Actors on Actors, Day 2, Los Angeles, USA – 18 Nov 2018
2020 is easily one of the worst years in decades. For those of you unaware, Chadwick Boseman, passed away. From Jackie Robinson in 42 to the coveted and widely praised T’Challa, King of Wakanda, in Black Panther. Boseman’s exceptional acting has touched the souls of a great many.
South Carolina native and Howard University alumnus, Boseman was a superhero to many very early on. Pulling himself out of Anderson, South Carolina when he attended the British American Drama Academy at Oxford in 1998. Then Howard in 2000. After working with his nose on the acting grindstone for 13 years. Chadwick was given his breakout role as Jackie Robinson in 42. From then on his career stayed unapologetically and unabatedly black with roles in Get On Up, Gods of Egypt, and finally his debut as T’Challa in Avengers: Civil War.
His appearance in Civil War spawned so much hubbub that it was only logical that he get a solo film. The last time the silver screen had seen black royalty straight from Africa was when Eddie Murphy went to Queens. This is a superhero movie, with a larger than life, well developed African country bursting at the seems in culture. This was something the studio had to do their homework on, or risk fumbling the greatest slice of black representation in American media.
This largely goes to the credit of T’Challa himself, the centerpiece of the film. The role Chadwick uses to touch the souls of fans worldwide, new and old. Surrounded with a perfect cast, set & makeup teams, Boseman had all the tools in his thespian arsenal to rattle the cages of Hollywood and the status quo of black-led films. Which is precisely what he did. For the first time in my entire life, I saw children of all backgrounds arguing about who gets to be Black Panther. From comic relief or someone to fall prey to the big bad, to now being the absolute protagonist in a film climate where black people are mostly rappers, criminals, cops, or athletes.
He gave us an image of ourselves not soaked in sorrow and bloodshed. An afro futuristic look on modern problems that for once made it a point to let its target community know that their circumstances aren’t of the norm, nor something easily escaped. Most importantly, imposed upon them. Supercharging the morale of the black community as a whole with countless people being reminded that we are strong, classy, and intelligent beyond the comprehension of its guests. This movie was the vibe we all got on Obama’s inauguration day. Being black, watching this movie for the first time brings you a sense of power, unlike many other experiences. This is one forever inextricably linked with one man, Chadwick Boseman.
Boseman is a monument to black excellence. Bringing history to life in some roles. Teaching our children to walk like royalty. He leaves behind a hole in the hearts of many that will not be filled any time soon. He leaves behind a family and a fanbase that refuse to ever forget him.
Here are a few quotes from my peers on the departed.
“You see the way black people rallied to the theaters to see Black Panther?? I had never seen unification like that in my life. He was THE black superhero.”
“He Was like Denzel smooth in his role. He was able to play the badass, the leader and the intellectual. It was cool to see that all encompassed in a character who looked like me. He helped bring that to the forefront for a new millennium and I appreciated seeing him in those roles. He made it the blackest black history month in a long time”
“On this day. Jack Kirby’s birthday, Jackie Robinson day, March on Washington day. Chadwick Boseman would want us to remember him as the kind who literally brought so many black people together to celebrate our own hero on the big screen. He goes onto the next world with that thought I can only hope. That little black boys and girls will be inspired by this man for ages to come.”
“I miss how hype we as a collective got for Black Panther. Also, they did a special showing for terminal kids”
“I have never been to a movie opening day where you see so many black people come out and show out
Like after watching the movie I was hype.
This man had people who have never read a comic book in their life talking about Black Panther. That’s how you know the role he played had layers of depth.
Not to mention his acting was on point despite battling cancer. He did that for us.
“You are a good man with a good heart, and it is hard for a good man to be king.” – T’Chaka to T’Challa”
“Not just for black panther, he gave us many other memorable moments, most of which he did battling cancer. To fight above such a cause and still stood high to showcase for the black community as a whole, that speaks volumes to me and many others around. This man was and still is an inspiration. He didn’t lose to cancer, he showed what fighting looks like on and off-camera. #wakandaforever”
“That man embodied a character that was able to inspire the black community like never before. The man was one of the best of his age. This is a hefty loss not only for the film community but for Marvel as a whole.”
“He was and is a monument, he’s been immortalized in films and is now a staple for black households and history in what he represented in all his roles but especially T’challa. I lit up like a kid when I saw that movie, it really feels like I was robbed of something important. Dude was supposed to be around for decades adding more to the world. We got robbed.”
“1st time I saw him in action was on an episode of Cold Case, from that moment I knew he was Special, you could see he had that it factor. Then I started seeing him in other big-budget films I was happy he made it. While I love him in Civil War, Black Panther and 42 were my favorite films he was in. Loved him in those roles, was proud.
42 was flawless to me felt like I was taken on a history trip. Black Panther, the scenes where T’Challa confronts T’Chaka and N’Jadaka meets N’Jobu are my favorite scenes, the engagements are a masterpiece. Da 5 Bloods while a great movie and a joyride. But the best part to me was when Stormin’ Norman embraced Paul. Chadwick was glowing in that scene was him from the 1st time I ever saw him, that glow was his It Factor. My heart is heavy right now. Rest King T’challa you fought to the very end like a true Wakandan. Wakanda Forever my brother”
“Black Panther was a CULTURAL PHENOMENON. It gave something for little Black Kids to aspire to and older Black Men and Women to be proud of. Harlem was ON FIRE for Black Panther. Harlem SHOWED UP and SHOWED OUT for Black Panther.
Chadwick brought that role to life as no other could.”
“Chadwick’s performance was a key role in promoting the Blerd culture. Like he was one of most urban influential actors outchea and maybe he was internally tired of the Wakanda Forever trend. But you can’t lie and say it brought some assorted conversations with the black people.
May he rest in peace.”
“…To hear Chadwick was dealing with this disease for 4 years while still honing and perfecting his craft is nothing short of amazing. The fact that nobody knew outside of his family is both heartbreaking and a testament to his will and strength. Chadwick Boseman is a legend and he will be missed.”
Wakanda Forever, Rest In Power King.
HOLLYWOOD, CA – JANUARY 29: Executive producer Stan Lee (L) and actor Chadwick Boseman at the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)