We found out today Chadwick Boseman died with his family around him yesterday. He was just 43 and lost a battle with colon cancer. He had decided to not only keep his illness private from the public but had worked throughout his treatment, doing what many would consider the best work of his career.
This one sucks, not just because he was so young and still had so much to give both personally and professionally but because he felt like a beacon and a much needed one in the current times.
When Black Panther was released a couple of years ago it became one of the highest grossing movies of all time, not just because it was the latest entry in the always successful Marvel Cinematic Universe and not because it was highly rated and near universally favourably reviewed.
It did so well because it spoke to a demographic that had until then been largely ignored, marginalised or sidelined.
This wasn’t just a black actor or character, it was a black story. Sure it’s told in the sci-fi, comic book movie landscape but it was rooted in black, African and American culture and history.
Chadwick Boseman was poised to lead the next generation of influential black actors and chose his roles specifically. I’m neglecting to mention the fact he played Jackie Robinson because I have yet to see the movie, 42, but I plan on rectifying that soon.
In a moment in time when having a black hero, a warrior, a king is more important than ever he has been taken away. Fuck cancer.
Rest in power. Wakanda forever.