In my culture, death is not the end. It’s more of a stepping-off point. You reach out with both hands and Bast and Sekhmet, they lead you into the green veld where you can run forever.’ – T’Challa, Captain America: Civil War, 2016
The world was thrown into deep mourning when screen actor, playwright, and superhero, Chadwick Boseman was confirmed dead.
Chadwick Aaron Boseman – Black Panther – born on November 29, 1977, raised in Anderson, South Carolina, America, as the only child of African American parents, Carolyn and Leroy Boseman, died on August 28, 2020, at the age of 43, in his home in the company of his newly wedded wife and family, after a 4 year battle with colon cancer.
Boseman was diagnosed with Stage III Colon Cancer in 2016. He battled on secretly with the ailment for four years, till it progressed to stage IV leading to his death.
Chadwick Boseman lived a life worth emulating; a life of a fighter. He never let his weakness determine how far he could go.
2016, the same year he was diagnosed with the disease, he starred in Captain America: Civil War, and Message from the King, bringing love and happiness through the screen. No one knew about the drug sessions, chemotherapy, and surgeries.
Chadwick Boseman made his first appearance on the TV screen in 2008 with drama – The Express, where he played the role of Floyd Little acting alongside Rob Brown in the battle for victory through a football trophy season.
Boseman persevered in his career starring in numerous movies in the little space of time he lived; 4 years of great impact, even as he battled with a demon in his flesh.
Most of Chadwick Boseman’s movies include The Express (2008), The Kill Hole (2012), 42 (2013), Get on up (2014), Gods of Egypt (2016), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Marshal (2017), Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), 21 Bridges (2019), Avengers: End Game (2019), and Da 5 Bloods (2020).
Death never allowed Boseman to witness the release of his last movie, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, a play directed by George C. Wolfe, which has been in anticipation to be released before the year runs out.
Black Panther, the movie which brought Chadwick to the limelight, scored high as the fourth highest-grossing movie in the domestic box office, the highest-grossing film by a black director, the ninth highest-grossing movie of all time, the third grossing movie in the US, and Canada, the second grossing movie in 2018, and earnings of $1.3 billion, winning him an NAACP Image Award after its release. According to Celebrity Worth, Chadwick Boseman at the point of death ranked a net worth of $12 million.
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Chadwick Boseman kept his battle with colon cancer private and discreet from the eyes of the press and social media, while he made us laugh. He was sore in the inside while giving us the superhero we desperately needed. Boseman’s life was a perfect narration of the popular phrase, ‘What will you do if you were to die tomorrow?’
In his dark moments with colon cancer, Chadwick Boseman never seemed to limit the love he shared to the television screen, but also hit the streets with humanitarian services, touching the lives of as many kids as he could.
2018, He was reported to have visited St. Jude children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee, where he shared toys, gifts, and more importantly, joy, happiness, hope, and love.
As he fought his battles, he sought to be an inspiration to all who were weak in the flesh.
In 2018, Chadwick Boseman went emotional in his press show with Sirius XM, narrating his ordeal and communication track with the family of two kids who were terminally ill while waiting for the release of his Marvel Studios movie, Black Panther.
It was touching to watch him go sober as he disclosed that although the family of the boys held on in faith for the movie, cancer took their boys faster than the release of the movie.
As Chadwick Boseman set up a niche for himself in Hollywood, he made efficient use of his stand as a celebrity to stand against racism, prejudice, and injustice.
In 2017, during a panel discussion after the shoot of the movie, Marshal, Boseman Chadwick made a loud declaration on his stand as an activist.
In his words, he said, ‘First of all, I’m not just an actor, I’m an artist. You have to express the full scope of your being, physically, spiritually and that includes politically.’
Boseman wasn’t just an actor who came for the trophy and medals that the film industry could offer, he came for impact. He left us with indelible imprints, and legacies which will stand the test of time.
Chadwick Boseman also said during his 2019 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award, ‘We know what it is like to be told that there is not a screen for you to be featured on. We know we had something special that we wanted to give the world.’
His life was an amazing blend of character, talent, purpose, and courage, making his roles become relatable to the audience. He became a projector of African-American concerns and a celebrated voice in Africa.
As we all get to celebrate the life of a legend, let us all remember that ‘We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe’ – Black Panther, 2018.