A tribute to a king: Honoring Chadwick Boseman

On August 28, Chadwick Boseman died at age 43 after a four year fight with colon cancer. Boseman was best known for his role in Marvel’s Black Panther and for portraying other prominent African-American figures.

Boseman’s death was confirmed by his publicist. A statement posted on his Instagram account stated that he learned he had Stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, and it had progressed to Stage 4. It was also confirmed that his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, and his family were by his side at his passing.

Actor Chadwick Boseman. [Source: Los Angeles Times]

Boseman was 35 when he appeared in his first prominent movie role, portraying Jackie Robinson in the 2013 movie 42. Boseman also played James Brown in Get On Up (2014) and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017).

While he was the star of many noteworthy blockbuster movies, Boseman was most known for his portrayal of King T’Challa of Wakanda in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. His character also made appearances in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.

Chadwick Boseman in Marvel Studios Black Panther. [Source Los Angeles Times]

Boseman filmed 10 movies during his four year battle with cancer. His latest movie, Da 5 Bloods, premiered on Netflix in June.

Over the last few days, tributes have poured in honoring Boseman. Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler, posted an emotional tribute to the actor.

I haven’t grieved a loss this acute before. I spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see. It leaves me broken knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take … It hurts more to know that we can’t have another conversation, or facetime, or text message exchange.

Ryan Coogler’s message to Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman gives a Wakanda salute to the crowd as Howard University holds its’ commencement ceremonies. [Source: CNN]

ABC News and Marvel Studios paid tribute to Boseman by airing a special presentation of Black Panther on Sunday, followed by an accompanying segment, A Tribute for a King. This special, hosted by Robin Roberts, highlighted Boseman’s impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Boseman’s career, and portrayal of revolutionary Black figures is extremely meaningful to Black Americans. Boseman was also the face of the first Black Marvel superhero. Countless amounts of Black children look up to him because he represents them.

Chadwick Boseman’s legacy will forever be shown through his films. He is a generation-defining actor, and it takes true talent to be able to play the roles he did. No matter what, he will always be our King.

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