“Many people you know might be fighting battles you know nothing about, so be kind” echoed BT sports presenter Jake Humphrey after Aubameyang’s goal celebration during Arsenal’s community shield victory over Liverpool in honor of the great Chadwick Boseman who passed away in the early hours of the Morning aged 43, Truer words could not have been spoken.
The News filtered in slowly in the early hours of the morning, The Actor had been fighting with colon cancer for the past few years and eventually decided to call it a day. Auba’s celebration showed how much impact the Actor and his portrayal of arguably his most popular Role of Black Panther in the Marvel Universe films had touched a lot of lives.
Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, which eventually progressed to stage IV before 2020. He had never spoken publicly about his cancer diagnosis. During treatment, involving multiple surgeries and chemotherapy, he continued to work and completed production for several films, including Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and others.
Boseman’s passing comes at a time when racial tensions have been high and on the heel of massive protests and upheavals as regards to issues regarding social injustices and brutalities based on race. We’ve seen the massive protests in the USA, the Colin Kaepernick kneeling protest, the NBA Boycotts, the grand slam Boycotts by notable athletes, and of course the ever-present Black lives Matter movement which the English FA has also encouraged.
Chadwick had apparently been battling the disease in its final stages for the past 4 years since his diagnosis, he never spoke publicly about it. In this time he still churned out movie roles in between chemotherapy sessions and evident weight loss; this included his role as Black Panther in the Marvel Universe films.
2020 has been a real slugger, it’s kept hitting us hard, most of us can’t wait to see the back of 2020 as it’s been one tragedy or another. We started the year with the loss of another great sports maverick in Kobe Bryant, then came COVID and a lot of other not so ideal happenings and now we’ve lost Chadwick and we’re still in August.
The world has been reacting to the news with so many broken and shattered at the tragic event, a lot of well-wishers, industry peers, and in general people that he touched have been pouring out tributes and encomiums to the man and his family. His portrayal of the Black Panther certainly resonated with a lot of us, for so many black young kings it was the first time they were seeing a Superhero who had the same skin Colour as them and true even in real life the man Chadwick was a superHero in every sense of the word.
Outside of the characters and the Movies, the Jacki Robinson in the 42s, the James Brown in Get on Up, the T’challa in Black Panther and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall and so on, Chadwick always carried himself as a true professional and most importantly as a good Human being and he lived his life albeit private the same way.
A brief overview of Chadwick’s life; born Chadwick Aaron Boseman on November 29, 1976, in Anderson, South Carolina, to Carolyn and Leroy Boseman, both African-American. His mother was a nurse and his father worked at a textile factory, managing an upholstery business as well. The Actor also confirmed his African roots as according to Boseman, DNA testing indicated that his ancestors were Krio people from Sierra Leone, Yoruba people from Nigeria, and Limba people from Sierra Leone. Chadwick as was and is still the case with young Black men in the United States was no stranger to loss and tragedy; Boseman graduated from T. L. Hanna High School in 1995. In his junior year, he wrote his first play, Crossroads, and staged it at the school after a classmate was shot and killed. Boseman attended college at Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. One of his teachers was Phylicia Rashad, who became a mentor and helped raise funds, notably from her friend and prominent actor Denzel Washington so that Boseman and some classmates could attend the Oxford Mid-Summer Program of the British American Drama Academy in London, to which they had been accepted. You could tell that the stars were aligning perfectly for the young Boseman.
Boseman wanted to write and direct and initially began studying acting to learn how to relate to actors. After he returned to the U.S, He graduated from New York City’s Digital Film Academy.
Boseman who resided in Brooklyn at the start of his career worked as the drama instructor in the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program, housed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. In 2008, he would move to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
Boseman’s earliest leading role in a Hollywood film was as Robinson in 42. Boseman’s leading film roles toward the end of his life included 21 Bridges (2019), which he also co-produced, and Da 5 Bloods (2020). His final film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, will be released posthumously on Netflix.
Boseman’s portrayal of T’challa/Black panther will always be what he may be remembered for because of the sheer cultural impact of the role which went beyond just the U.S and beyond the boundaries of just acting, the impact of the role was felt in much broader sphere’s extending to different global audiences, ethnic and social minorities and different spheres of life. We could see a lot of players in the premier league do the Wakanda Salute celebration and Arsenal’s Pierre Emerick Aubemeyang took it a step further and even donned the Hero’s mask for his celebration in an Europa league game.
The symbolism of the role was definitely wide-reaching but Boseman the man himself was an exceptional human being; whilst Chadwick Boseman silently suffered for four years with cancer in between churning out movies and chemotherapy sessions, he still visited sick kids in hospital & brought them so much joy during their hour of need. This was the magnanimity of the man which endeared him to so many. A SiriusXM interview from the Black Panther promo tour has also been shared widely, in which Boseman broke down in tears as he recalled two young boys dying from cancer before they got to see Black Panther. Little did we know that he was battling the same nemesis like a champ and still putting others first.
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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. He was an incredible role model for our patients and children from all around the world. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.
For those of us who are still here, this loss and losses perhaps will bring us to a realization and add a lot more meaning to our existence, the fact that we’ve been through all this and are still here and standing means we should never give up and always keep fighting let the memories of these ones who have gone but left a positive mark on the world live on through us and let us live for one another striving to leave positive impacts of our own. One thing’s for sure wherever Chadwick is, he sure lived a life worth living and is definitely resting in power.
We started the year with MAMBA OUT in eulogy to the great Kobe Bryant now it’s our beloved Chadwick. Rest in power Black king, gone but never forgotten, your legacy will surely live on. PANTHER OUT.