From playing the role of the historic Jackie Robinson to the fictional character of King T’Challa in Marvel’s “Black Panther,” American actor Chadwick Boseman was an on-screen hero in the eyes of Black Americans today.
August 28, 2020, Boseman passed away from colon cancer at the age of 43. Boseman’s publicist Nicki Fioravante told The Associated Press the actor died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side.
But in spite of his sudden passing, there is reason to believe Boseman’s face and legacy will live on forever through the big screen.
As soon as the news of the actor’s death hit social media, celebrities and fans alike released an outpouring of tribute posts.
Boseman’s co-stars in the Marvel film “Black Panther” have spoken out in light of the situation.
Actress Letitia Wright addressed her on-screen big brother in a six-minute Instagram post captioned:
“For my brother.”
“An angel on earth departed. A soul so beautiful. When you walked into a room, there was calm. You always moved with grace and ease. Every time I saw you; the world would be a better place,” Wright said.
Wright isn’t the only “Black Panther” actor to pay tribute to Boseman, though. Actor Michael B. Jordan, who played the role of antagonist Erik “Killmonger” Stevens, also made an Instagram post.
“Everything you’ve given the world … the legends and heroes that you’ve shown us we are … will live on forever. But the thing that hurts the most is that I now understand how much of a legend and hero you are,” Jordan said.
“Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family, your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me. You are my big brother, but I never fully got a chance to tell you, or to truly give you your flowers while you were here.”
Boseman’s coworkers and fellow stars aren’t the only ones who have been addressing the actor and his family.
Fans of Boseman’s work have also been speaking out with praises of the actor’s position in the movie universe and humanitarian works.
Writer Lisa Respers France of CNN made a tribute piece to the late actor on August 29, 2020.
“The public was unaware that Boseman was displaying some heroism of his own as he had been diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016,” France said.
“[He] still chose to continue the physically demanding role in not only ‘Black Panther,’ but also playing the role in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ In doing so he left us with a legacy that extends beyond the big screen.”
On top of taking on the challenging kingly role of T’Challa whilst battling cancer, Boseman also did charity work for cancer patients through St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Chadwick Boseman. Two years ago, Chadwick visited the St. Jude campus and brought with him not only toys for our patients but also joy, courage and inspiration,” St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital said in a tweet.
A video from a 2018 interview of Boseman breaking down whilst discussing the impact “Black Panther” had on two young boys with cancer has resurfaced in light of his passing.
“There are two little kids, Ian and Taylor, who recently passed from cancer. And throughout our filming, I was communicating with them, knowing that they were both terminal,” Boseman said.
“And what they said to me, and their parents [also] said, they’re trying to hold on until this movie comes. And to a certain degree, you hear them say that, and you’re like ‘wow.’”
Marvel Studios also came out with a video to shine light on the career of Boseman. To watch, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VSx2E7WE50