I’ll be honest, this isn’t a post I ever thought I’d have to write. Not only about such a prominent actor cut down in his prime, but also at such a young age.
Of course, we have all now heard the terrible news that Chadwick Boseman, Marvel’s own Black Panther, has passed away from colon cancer at the age of just 43.
To say this loss has come as a shock would be a huge understatement, with many of his co-stars sharing their surprise and grief with the world over social media, while his fans around the world remember the hero they knew on-screen, not only as Black Panther, but as various real-life figures such as Jackie Robinson in 42, and James Brown in Get On Up.
It is his influence as Black Panther, however, that will remain his long-lasting legacy; the superhero blockbuster that proved minority-led films were not only capable of making money, but could surpass all expectations and make over a billion dollars, while presenting a hero that POCs around the world could relate to in a way they hadn’t been able to do previously.
It is thanks to his on-screen presence and skill that Black Panther became such a phenomenon around the world, but is also an example of his immeasurable strength in the face of adversity.
It was revealed by his family that Chadwick was diagnosed with Stage III cancer in 2016, meaning that he not only completed, but excelled in such high-octane productions as Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame, and 21 Bridges. The pain and struggle he must have faced on a daily basis is unimaginable, and speaks volumes to his determination and strength, even in the face of his own mortality.
So, we mourn another loss to the film world, amidst an ever-divisive world, Boseman’s work should stand as a beacon of hope, what can be achieved when minority stories are given the stage they so deserve. He is, and will always be a hero in millions of peoples eyes, and his legacy will be that of a trailblazer, laying a path that should be followed for generations to come.
Wakanda Forever, and Rest in Peace.
PS – After posting this, I came across a thread of cancer charities, specifically colon cancer charities, on Twitter, I retweeted it on there and I’m now adding the link to this, should anyone wish to donate: https://twitter.com/sweetenerzouie/status/1299631935195545600?s=21