The world was shocked on Friday night to learn that Chadwick Boseman, star of Black Panther, 42, and Da 5 Bloods, passed away due to a four-year battle with colon cancer.
Boseman was a real-life superhero, a real-life Black Panther, using his time the past four years to give representation to the Black community and even care for terminally ill children dealing with a similar illness as himself.
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It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time. Photo Credit: @samjonespictures
Finally, little Black kids (and adults alike) had a superhero that looked like them. Never underestimate the importance of representation.
My favorite cover of a comic book ever pic.twitter.com/8ycFOP48nP
— Cameron Ramos (@CamRamos95) August 29, 2020
The craziest thing is that no one knew Boseman was sick (save for his close ones of course). And since 2016 he delivered some of the most memorable roles of any actors in our lifetimes. And he approached people with kindness.
That last part is of the utmost importance. Remember when Chadwick was seen out in public several times looking rather gaunt? People clowned him, ridiculed him. And for what? A couple more likes on a tweet?
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His love and kindness even while fighting for his life underscore how truly beautiful Chadwick Boseman was. And just because someone is a celebrity does not mean they do not deal with hardships.
Approach everyone with kindness and care, for you never really know what someone is going through.
Chadwick Boseman not only was a beautiful man in his everyday life. But he was an immensely influential figure in his work.
Here is Chadwick Boseman talking in 2013 about playing Jackie Robinson.
2020 just sucks in a lot of ways.pic.twitter.com/C93TdJNu9s
— Robert Flores (@RoFlo) August 29, 2020
He played James Brown in Get On Up, Jackie Robinson in 42, and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. Paving the way for the youth to learn more about incredibly influential historical figures seemed like Boseman’s calling. But it took a lot for him to get to that place.
Boseman said on Uninterrupted’s The Shop:
“I had agents that would give me things that are more stereotypical, roles that I should take. Because I said no at certain times… it made me available for the things that got me to where I am. For me it’s always been like first, ‘who are you?’ I have to know who I am first before I know how to navigate this thing.”
Wiser words have hardly ever been spoken. Stay true to yourself. Lead with love and compassion. We miss you Chadwick but we will not forget you. The impact you left on countless individuals will not go unnoticed as the years go on.
Chadwick Boseman truly was the best of us. May his light guide us forward in these trying times. And may he rest in power.